Duty of care advice

Household duty of care

If you are a household and you are passing waste onto someone who is not the dustman or the local council, you are under an obligation to check that the person you are handing your waste to is authorised to take it. If you are not sure whether someone is authorised you can check this with your local Environment Agency.

The household duty of care regulations are not there to scare people but merely serve as a weapon in the constant battle to eliminate fly-tipping and environmental crime. These regulations are about all Salford householders working with Salford City Council to combat the blight of fly-tipping and make sure all our rubbish is dealt with properly and responsibly.

Do not forget that all household waste can be disposed of at your local amenity site free of charge. If you want further information on our bulky waste collection service, call 0161 793 2500 for further details.

The Duty of Care is a law which says that you must take all reasonable steps to keep controlled waste safe. You must stop it escaping from your control. You must store it safely and securely. You must prevent it causing pollution or harming anyone.

The waste must be packed in suitable containers so that it cannot fall out, blow away or escape from the receptacle. You must secure the waste against unauthorised removal as far as is reasonably practical. Security should be sufficient to prevent the breaking open of containers and removal of waste by vandals, thieves, animals, accident or weather.

You must ensure that the person/registered company removing your waste is either from a local authority or a licensed waste collection company. They will be authorised to remove your waste and dispose of it safely. You must provide a written description of your waste to the person who removes it. This is known as a waste transfer note and must be completed by both persons involved in the transfer.

Please note that under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 34 (5) you are obliged to hold a valid waste transfer note from your current contractor.  Under Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 35 (6) or Section 34A officers from Salford City Council have the power to ask for sight of this document.

Failure to produce a valid waste transfer note will result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice which asks you to produce such a document within 14 days or face a fine of up to £300.00. Further action will be taken if the original document is not produced within this period, which may result in a summons. Under EPA Section 46/47/47ZA/47Z you could be prosecuted for failure to comply with a waste receptacles notice, which includes inadequate bins, excess rubbish and bin lids not being secure.

The legislation governing the Duty of Care requires that the passage of waste from its production to ultimate disposal is strictly monitored and is applied to any person who produces, carries or disposes of waste.

Transfer notes now require far more information about the waste being removed than has previously been required. Legislation requires us all to change our waste management practices with a view, amongst other things, to reducing the environmental impact of landfill. In particular, on 16 July 2002 the Landfill regulations introduced changes to the way in which waste is managed (some types of waste are now, or will be, banned in future from Landfill while the classification of other waste types have changed).

From 31 August 2002 the Landfill regulations amended the Environment Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 so that the producer of the waste will now have to identify the waste by reference to the codes set out in the European Waste Catalogue (EWC). For example, if you are placing dry "household-type waste", which is non hazardous into your container then your EWC code is most likely to be 20-03-01, which is classified as mixed municipal waste.

It is the waste producer's responsibility to ensure that the code used on a new transfer note now fully describes the waste covered by that transfer note.

For further information please use our online enquiry form.

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