Trade/Commercial Waste Collection

Legislation

As a business owner what are my legal responsibilities?

Every business in Hyndburn has legal responsibilities when it comes to disposing of its waste, these can be categorised by the following legislation:

  1. Duty of Care
  2. Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011
  3. Landfill Directive – Pre-treatment of Waste Regulation 2007
  4. Producer Responsibility
  5. Packaging Waste Regulations
  6. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations
  7. The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009

More information regarding your legal obligations and Duty of Care can be found on the Environment Agency’s and Business Link website or call the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506.

1. Duty of care
Under Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone who produces, imports, keeps or stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste has a duty to take all reasonable steps to keep it safe. This means that any waste produced by your business is regulated by law. Duty of Care applies to all businesses and failure to comply means you could be prosecuted and fined. We want to help you make sure this does not happen.

Waste transfer notes
The law says you must take ‘all reasonable steps’ to comply with the Duty of Care and complete an annual Waste Transfer Note. A waste transfer note is usually a one-page sheet supplied to you by your waste collection contractor which contains the following details and must be kept for a minimum of 2 years:

  • Your company details.
  • Type and quantity of waste.
  • Method of waste containment.
  • Time, date and location of waste collection (this can also be an annual note)
  • Details of the company collecting the waste
  • Your businesses Standard Industrial Code (SIC) and a declaration that your business has applied the waste management hierarchy when transferring your waste – This was a requirement from September 2011 under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

What if I don’t comply?

Local Authorities have the authorisation to check businesses to see if they are complying with their Duty of Care. This means a Council officer can come to your premises and ask to see your businesses’ waste transfer notes. The only other body who are authorised to check on your waste management arrangements are the Environment Agency.

2. Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011
The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 transpose the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2008/98/EC) into law and make some changes to the way we manage waste in England and Wales.

How does this affect my business?

Many businesses will be affected in some way. The regulations implement the aims of the Directive by getting businesses to think differently about whether waste needs to be produced in the first place and which are the best ways of managing it. These regulations affect businesses that:

Produce waste, import or export waste, carry or transport waste, keep or store waste, treat or dispose of waste or who operate as waste brokers or dealers.

For more information download your ‘Quick guide for waste producers and businesses’.

3. The Landfill Directive – Pre-treatment of Waste Regs 2007
The Landfill Directive places legal obligation on waste producers to ensure only pre-treated waste is sent to landfill. This means that since 2007, UK businesses now have a legal duty to implement waste segregation routines.

What does this mean for my business?

The purpose of the pre-treatment requirement is to reduce the impact of waste that has to be land-filled and to increase the amount of waste recycled.

The responsibility for ensuring that your business waste is pre-treated rests with the waste producer (YOU) in a similar way to Duty of Care. This means the producer is required to ensure that their waste is collected and disposed of correctly.

How do I comply?

There are two options for complying with pre-treatment of waste:

  • Treat the waste yourself by sorting your waste on site by separating recyclables from non-recyclables.
  • Ensure your waste disposal collector is treating it on your behalf prior to disposal in landfill.

Recycling at least one of your main material streams will enable your business to meet the pre-treatment requirement.

4. Producer Responsibility
The European Producer Responsibility legislation aims to ensure that businesses take responsibility for the environmental impact of products they place on the market. This covers the following waste streams:

  • Packaging Waste
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
  • Batteries

5. Packaging Waste Regulations
The Packaging Waste regulations require producers of packaging waste, in England, Scotland and Wales, to contribute towards recovering and recycling a proportion of the packaging produced.

There are two sets of regulations to consider for packaging waste:

  • The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations
  • The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations

The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulation
These apply if your business produces packaged products or places packaging or packaged goods on the market. These regulations apply regardless of your business’ turnover and the quantities of packaging produced, handled or filled.

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations
These apply to businesses that produce packaging and either have an annual turnover of more than £2million or produce or handle packaging weighing over 50 tonnes in the previous year.

6. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regs
Since 2006, all electrical and electronic distributors have been subject to the WEEE Regulations. The aim of these regulations is to reduce the amount of WEEE produced and encourage reuse, recycling or recovery.

What does this mean for my business?

This now means that businesses and non-household users of WEEE need to ensure all WEEE is treated and recycled.

Under the regulations, distributors must operate a free take-back scheme for customers to return their broken or unwanted electrical and electronic items (on a like-for-like basis as a minimum). Either in-store or through the Distributor Take Back Scheme (DTS). In addition, distributors have an obligation to communicate their individual schemes to their customers.

7. Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009
The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations establish a new producer responsibility for the collection, treatment and recycling of portable, industrial and automotive batteries. These regulations aim to increase battery recycling rates.

What does this mean for my business?

If you sell more than 32kg of portable batteries a year, you will need to take back used batteries from the public free of charge.  Producers can do this by joining a Battery Compliance Scheme, who will arrange for the collection and recycling of waste portable batteries on your behalf. Battery Compliance Schemes will also carry out publicity to inform consumers on how they can return their waste household batteries for recycling.