Duty of care and waste hierarchy

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Anyone producing waste has a legal duty of care to see that it does not cause problems. There are some simple rules to follow, including keeping it secure so it doesn’t leak or blow away. If producers give their waste to someone else (like a waste contractor) it is their duty to make sure that:

1. The person is authorised to take the waste

2. The waste goes to a proper legal site – one that is licensed or exempt

3. They give the person a transfer note – this needs to include a description of the waste

4. The waste does not escape from their control (eg by ensuring their waste is safely contained)

An example of a duty of care waste transfer note can be found here.  

Waste hierarchy

Businesses must confirm by an additional declaration in the duty of care waste transfer notes (and hazardous waste consignment notes) that they have taken all reasonable measures to apply the ‘waste hierarchy’ which includes taking all such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to prevent waste. 

There is a waste hierarchy tool to help with this, available from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

 waste hierarchy