Your Waste. Your Responsibility

Your Waste, Your Responsibility

Did you know you have a Duty of Care for your own waste? 

We all have a legal duty of care for the waste we produce, even after it has left our homes or premises. This duty of care, under section 34 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990, includes ensuring that it is disposed of properly, even if it has been given to someone else. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Are you Fly-tipping without knowing it?

Every year thousands of people are fly-tipping indirectly, unaware that they are doing anything wrong. There are over a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year, costing over £50 million a year to clear. Two thirds of this fly-tipping is household waste!

If your waste is found dumped (fly-tipped) even if someone else has done it, you could be held responsible for the crime

To ensure you don’t fall foul of the law, please download our leaflet. More information can also be found on the Recycle for Essex website.

If you are arranging for anyone other than the Council to collect your household waste, here are some top tips:

  • If you use a trader to remove your waste or a tradesperson carrying out work at your home ask to see their waste carrier registration number issued by the Environment Agency. You can check if they are a registered waste carrier on the Environment Agency website or by contacting 03708 506 506. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they don’t have a permit.
  • Make sure you get a receipt or transfer notice from them before your waste is taken away.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask where your waste is going and request paperwork that shows where it will be disposed of. A legitimate waste carrier will not object to this questioning.
  • Protect yourself by being careful with your waste. Never leave waste, such as old washing machines or scrap metal on your drive or in the street as it could end up in the wrong hands. You can donate working items to reuse organisations or charity shops.

 Are you running a business from home?

If you are running a business from home then waste produced from the business is classed as Commercial waste and needs to be disposed of legally. 

Businesses and individuals should carry out their own due diligence to establish a contractor’s suitability for the work they require. Remember that under the Duty of Care (Environmental Protection Act 1990) regulations there is a responsibility to check that whoever collects waste is licensed to do so and is disposing of it legitimately. Further information can be found in our Duty of Care leaflet.

Please see our Commercial waste pages for further information. 

Page last updated: 14/08/2019