If you work with certain types of household, industrial and commercial waste (controlled waste) you have a legal requirement to make sure you import, produce, carry, keep, treat and dispose of your waste safely.
As part of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), the recently revised Duty of Care Code of Practice gives simple and clear guidance on what you need to do to comply with this law.
Does the Code of Practice apply to you?
The Code of Practice applies to all waste holders operating in England and Wales. Waste holders include:
- Waste producers – public and private sector businesses who produce waste, including waste transfer or treatment facilities that change the nature or composition of the waste
- Waste carriers – anyone who regularly collects, carries or transports waste as part of their business
- Dealer – anyone who has taken legal possession of waste as a result of buying or selling it
- Broker – anyone who arranges waste transport and management on behalf of someone else
- Waste manager – anyone involved in the re-use, recycling, recovery, treatment and disposal of waste
If you operate across borders you should also bear in mind that this code applies to England and Wales, and Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own codes of practice.
What are you responsible for?
The Code of Practice outlines your requirements, which include preventing unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste; preventing the escape of waste from your control; and ensuring any person to whom you transfer waste has the correct authorisation.
Your responsibility for your waste doesn’t end once you have handed it over to another waste holder. You need to take reasonable steps to make sure the waste is managed correctly all the way through to disposal or recovery. There are several ways you can do this, which are explained in the Code of Practice.
There are also a number of waste laws which are relevant to specific waste holders such as those who collect waste paper, metal, plastic or glass; those who receive household waste at a materials facility; those who manufacture, import or sell packaging, electronic equipment, batteries or end-of-life vehicles (ELVs); and landfill owners and users. These are outlined in more detail in section 4 of the Code of Practice.
How can WPS help?
If you need any help WPS is on hand to guide you through any stage of waste management. Please call 01604 859961 or contact us online and we will be more than happy to assist you.