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Waste Transfer Note Duty of Care for Businesses

If you’re an obligated packaging producer with packaging producer responsibility, you have a legal duty of care when it comes to disposing of waste.

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Waste transfer note duty of care

You are required to:

  • Keep waste to a minimum by doing everything you reasonably can (in this order), to:
    • Prevent
    • Reuse
    • Recycle
    • Recover waste
  • Sort and store waste safely and securely
  • Complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves your premises
  • Check if your waste carrier is registered to dispose of waste
  • Make sure the waste carrier does not dispose of your waste illegally. If they do, you must report them to Crimestoppers.

It’s important to note that if your company handles hazardous waste, it has an extra set of responsibilities to follow.

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Hazardous waste transfer note duty of care

Hazardous waste generally refers to any material or substance that is harmful to humans or the environment. This could include:

  • Asbestos
  • Toxic chemicals like brake fluid or print toner
  • Batteries
  • Solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Oils (excluding edible oils)
  • Hazardous waste containers
  • Equipment containing ozone-depleting substances (ODS) e.g. fridges.

It’s your legal obligation to make sure that any hazardous waste produced or handled by your business causes no harm or damage.

Your obligations when it comes to disposing of hazardous waste will depend on whether you are a:

  • Producer or holder (you produce or store waste)
  • Carrier (you collect and transport waste)
  • Consignee (you receive waste, such as for recycling or disposal).

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What counts as business waste?

Any waste produced from commercial activity – directly or as a byproduct – is considered business waste. If you use part of your home to run your business, then any waste that comes from that part of your home is classed as business waste.

Business waste also includes any waste that comes from construction, demolition, agriculture, and the industrial sector.

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Sorting and storing business waste

You must store waste safely and securely. As well as securing waste in a safe place, you must also:

  • Use suitable containers that will prevent waste escaping
  • Clearly label containers with the type of waste inside</>
  • Use the appropriate covers to stop waste blowing away
  • Use waterproof covers if rain could cause contaminated run-off or prevent the waste from being reused

    You must also store different types of waste separately, so that:

    • They do not contaminate each other
    • They can be reused more easily
    • You can complete the waste transfer note correctly.

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Waste transfer note duty of care

For each load of non-hazardous waste you move off your premises, you need a waste transfer note or a document with that information, e.g. an invoice.

Both your business and the business taking your waste need to fill in the applicable sections of the waste transfer note before signing and keeping a copy of it for two years. You may need to show the waste note to an enforcement officer from your local council or the Environment Agency if asked.

You should include enough information in the waste transfer note to enable the business taking your waste to handle and dispose of it safely.

Find out if your business is classed as an obligated packaging producer.

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Business insurance from Towergate

When it comes to business insurance, one size doesn’t fit all. We can offer tailored cover for your business.

Get a quote online or call 0344 892 1664.

For more information on protecting your business against risk, please speak to your usual Towergate adviser.

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About the author

Alison Wild BCom (Hons), FMAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a Fellow member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), a member of the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.