The UK government has introduced a number of regulations and laws to cover a producers responsibilities regarding packaging, electronic and electrical equipment (EEE), batteries, end of life vehicles and their disposal. They are designed to make business more responsible for the products they manufacture and their end of life impact on the environment.
Businesses are required to:
- minimise the waste they create and encourage the re-use of the products they manufacture;
- make sure the waste they create is correctly treated and meet targets for the recovery and recycling of waste materials;
- design their products with minimal amounts of materials and improve their reusability and recyclability;
It’s difficult to clearly define exactly what waste is but we all manage to create it whether residential or commercial. A general definition is that waste is anything discarded or intended to be discarded in the future. Even items and materials sent for recycling are considered to be waste.
All businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that all waste created is stored correctly, transported and disposed of without harming the environment. And that responsibility continues until that waste has been transferred to an authorised person. There are a variety of companies authorised to handle waste including:
- waste contractors
- scrap metal dealers
- recycling companies
- local councils
- skip hire companies
When a business transfers its waste to an authorised contractor it’s their duty of care to ensure they have the correct licence and are registered to receive a particular type of waste. Ask for a copy of the permit and keep a copy. You can also show you’ve taken all reasonable steps to prevent the illegal disposal of your waste by visiting the disposal site and undertaking an audit of their operations.
Upon the transfer you will also need to complete a waste transfer note (WTN). This waste transfer note shows exactly where the waste has come from and where it will end up. It is a clear audit trail that can be followed by the local council or Environment Agency and if you haven’t got them you’ll likely be given a fine.
As well as disposing of waste responsibly it is also the duty of the business to ensure it is stored correctly, while waiting to be collected. The waste must be stored securely, safely and in suitable containers to minimise any impact on the environment.
We’re a responsible waste clearance company in London that cares about the environment. Only by working together can we make a difference to the levels of waste we create, whether commercial or residential.