Duty of Care - waste legislation

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
  • transports
  • treats
  • recycles
  • 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 NetRegs website, where you can download a Duty of Care summary leaflet.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012

These regulations make it a legal requirement to separate and recycle waste from all businesses and organisations. 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.

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 re-use, 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.

If your business sells EEE then there are duties that apply to you too.

To find out more visit theĀ SEPA website.