What is Duty of Care?
Duty of care applies to anyone who runs a business and produces,
stores, transports, recycles or disposes of waste. The type of waste does not matter.
Whether it is cardboard boxes, plastic packaging or simply lunchtime leftovers you
are responsible for it.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 34) introduced
the concept of Duty of Care. Under the law on Duty of Care you must take all reasonable
steps to keep waste safe. You must package waste in suitable containers so that
it cannot fall out, blow away, or escape. Containers should be sufficiently secure
so that they cannot be broken open and waste removed by animals, accident or weather.
How does it affect me as a Trader?
You must ensure that the person collecting or receiving your waste is authorised
to do so, e.g. the Council or a registered waste carrier. You are responsible for
ensuring that your waste is disposed of properly and must ask for proof from your
waste contractor that they are registered.
When you agree to have your waste picked up by a licensed contractor you will be
issued with a Waste Transfer Note to complete. A Waste Transfer Note contains information
about the type and amount of waste that your business produces. It also states the
name and address of the company that collects your waste. You are required by law
to have this documentation readily available.
Breach of Duty of Care is a criminal offence and may result in an unlimited fine.