Your duty of care

What are your responsibilities as a business owner?

Businesses and individuals have a legal duty of care to take all reasonable steps to store and dispose of commercial waste safely. For more information on a business’s duty of care, including help on how your business can meet its legal obligations, please visit 'How do I do it?' - Right Waste, Right Place.

As a business you are obliged by law to arrange collection and disposal of waste, to comply with the requirements of  Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Protection Act (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991.

You have a duty of care for your waste and if you arrange for us to collect your waste you:

1. must complete a Commercial Waste Transfer Note (CWTN) for us and keep a copy on your files for two years, this must be renewed annually

2. should store your waste (including recycling) safely and securely until we collect it

3. must secure all waste in bags and/or containers to make sure they are protected from scavenging animals prior to our collection

4. must only use the equipment we have issued to you to present your waste to us. We reserve the right not to collect waste or recycling presented to us in any other container(s)

5. will stack all your waste tidily to avoid accidents and ensure your waste or recycling does not cause litter or spillages. We reserve the right not to collect waste or recycling presented to us in a soiled or littered capacity in anything other than agreed container(s).

Please be aware, whether you use our collection services or you use a private contractor, the duty of care still applies.

We have Environment Wardens, who carry our regular patrols in our district. They ensure we take enforcement action against commercial premises that do not manage their waste properly. Our formal enforcement action may include issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice, a notice (requiring a commercial premise to provide us with their CWTN), or, in serious cases, legal proceedings.

If you carry waste as part of your business (garden waste, house clearances or building work) you are classed as a ‘waste carrier’ and must register online with the Environment Agency. Alternatively, you can call them on 0370 850 6506.

If you are in Devon, Devon County Council’s recycling centre staff will need to see your waste carriers licence before accepting your waste as part of their trade waste schemes.