Legislation - how the law affects you
Duty of Care
The Duty of Care is a code of practice to support the 1990 Environmental Protection Act section 34 (1). Waste can be solid, liquid or gaseous. The code of practice states, amongst other issues, that you must store waste safely and securely.
It applies to anyone who:
- produces or imports
- keeps or stores
- disposes of waste
If you give waste to someone else, you must be sure they are authorised to take it and can transport, store, recycle or dispose of it properly. Movement of all controlled waste is monitored through Waste Transfer Notes (WTN).
If you break this law, you can be fined an unlimited amount or, in serious cases, be imprisoned.
For more detailed information on the Duty of Care, please visit the relevant section of the DEFRA website, where you will also find a Duty of Care summary leaflet that you can download in PDF format.
The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012
These regulations make it a legal requirement to spearate and recycle waste from all businesses and organisations by 1st January 2014. This includes plastics, metals, paper, card, glass and, in some circumstances, food waste. You must also recycle these items in accordance with the Duty of Care. There are more details on the Zero Waste Scotland website, including a FAQ Database.
Find out more by downloading the Zero Waste Scotland leaflet: The law is changing for every business in Scotland
Rural businesses can find out if they will be required to separate food waste under the regulations or are exempt using the postcode finder on the ZWS website.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 aim to reduce the amount of WEEE being disposed of and require EEE producers to pay for its reuse, recycling and recovery. If your business is an importer, re-brander or manufacturer of EEE and you place EEE on the UK market then it is likely that you are a producer under the WEEE regulations. If you are a producer then you need to register with a producer compliance scheme. The SEPA website has details of available producer compliance schemes.
Business or non-household end users of EEE
Businesses producing waste are required to comply with the Duty of Care. On top of this, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation introduces responsibilities for businesses and other non-household users when they dispose of their electrical waste. These organisations will need to ensure that all separately collected WEEE is treated and recycled.