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Duty of care - your waste responsibilities as resellers WEEE

You must ensure that anyone who handles your waste has the correct permit, licence or exemption. WEEE  regulations (UK)

People who collect your waste include and the requirements under WEEE directives:

•waste contractors
•scrap metal merchants
•recycling businesses
•your local Government council
•skip hire businesses.

If you transport your own waste you can pass it to:

•waste transfer stations
•waste treatment and disposal sites.
Anyone who collects and transports your waste must :

•be a registered carrier of controlled waste or
•be exempt from registration as a carrier. This includes your local council’s waste collection services.
Anyone who recycles, treats, stores, reprocesses or disposes of your waste must have: 

•an environmental permit (England and Wales)
•a waste management licence or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit (Northern Ireland and Scotland)
•a registered exemption from permitting for your type of waste and what they do with it.

Check your waste carrier is registered

You must check that anyone that you pass your waste on to is authorised to take it. If your waste is collected by a waste carrier, you must check that they have a waste carriers registration or a registered exemption. If you do not check and keep proof of this you could be held responsible if your waste is disposed of illegally, for example by fly-tipping.

A registered carrier should be able to produce a certificate of registration or a certified copy of it. This certificate will show when their registration expires. Be aware that a photocopy does not provide evidence of registration, you should ask to see the original or a certified copy. You can take a photocopy for your records, date it and write on it that you have seen the original. Authorised credit card sized copies of the certificate are also acceptable proof of registration.

You can also check your carrier is registered by checking with your environmental regulator.

You could be prosecuted if you do not keep proof that you have checked that your waste carrier is authorised.

Waste carriers do not have to register for certain activities. You must ask to see proof of the exemption and keep it for your records.

Transporting your own waste

You can take most waste produced by your own business directly to an authorised waste management site or recycling facility without registering as a waste carrier. However, to comply with your duty of care you must take it to an authorised facility or broker and complete a waste transfer note when you transfer it.

If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must register as a waste carrier with your environmental regulator.

Check your waste disposal site is authorised

If you transport your own waste you need to make sure that the site your waste goes to is authorised to accept it. It is good practice to do this even if a registered carrier transports your waste for you. Checking that your waste is taken to an authorised site is a good way to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to prevent your waste from being handled or disposed of illegally.

The site must have an environmental permit (England and Wales), waste management licence or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit (Northern Ireland and Scotland), or an exemption. Ask to see the site’s permit, licence or exemption certificate, or check with your environmental regulator. Take and keep a photocopy for your records.

When you check the permit, licence or exemption, make sure that the site is authorised to take all the types of waste materials that you are planning to send there.

You should repeat these checks regularly, as registrations and authorisations can expire or be revoked. You could be prosecuted if you do not keep proof that you have checked.

Check your waste is disposed of lawfully

If you make arrangements with more than one business you must check that they have all have fulfilled their responsibilities. For example, you may have separate contracts with a waste carrier and a waste processor. You must check that the carrier delivered all of your waste to the waste processor.

Even if you only make arrangements with a carrier, carrying out regular audits to check that your waste is disposed of correctly is a good way to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to prevent illegal handling or disposal. This can help in your defence if you are prosecuted for disposing of your waste incorrectly. You could also carry out site visits to check the destination of your waste.