Getting rid of hazardous waste safely

Your duty of care

Householders must ensure that their household waste is properly disposed of and have a legal obligation (duty of care) to take all reasonable measures to ensure that this happens.

If you cannot supply evidence of lawful disposal by suitably authorised contractors, then you may be prosecuted or you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (set nationally at £300).

A breach of any parts of the duty of care carries an unlimited fine in the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court.

Unlicensed carriers sometimes illegally dump or fly tip the waste they collect to avoid proper disposal charges, this may cause pollution and environmental damage as well as being unsightly, the council tax payer then has to pay to remove from public land and private landowner’s from their land.

If you are a householder, you are required to take reasonable steps to check that people removing waste from your premises are authorised to do so:

  • Ask the waste carrier to provide you with their full address and telephone number.
  • Ask to see their waste carrier licence issued by the Environment Agency, (you can contact the Environment Agency directly on 08708 506 506 and ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check, alternatively you can check online on the Environment Agency’s website.
  • Take a note of their vehicle registration
  • Ask for a proper invoice and receipt
  • Ask what exactly is going to happen to your waste and confirmation that it is going to be disposed of properly.