Recycling & Hazardous Waste: Return Home

Domestic and Hazardous Waste:
A Duty of Care

Its important to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The cost of providing and operating landfill sites is high and increasing rapidly. Incineration, the main alternative, is also expanding and is a very unpopular practice especially with communities near to an incinerator.
Additionally, both landfill and incineration cause pollution so it's vital that we reduce unnecessary consumption, reuse wherever possible and increase the proportion of waste that is recycled significantly. As an added incentive to recycle, charities may benefit (See picture below).

Waste is subject to The Environmental Protection Act.
It must be disposed of to minimise the amount that goes into landfill and maximise the amount that is recycled.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA90) placed a responsibility or "Duty of Care" on individuals who deal with waste. Householders were largely excluded then, but in 2005 new Hazardous Waste Regulations were introduced for England and Wales and in November 2005 a Duty of Care was placed on householders. For more detail on the regulations and duties see the links further down this page.

For "Domestic Recycling" or "Hazardous Waste" use the menu on the left.
We differentiate between Domestic and Hazardous-waste, however, the distinction is blurred. Guidance is given on the differences between 'difficult' and 'hazardous' waste on the Hazardous-waste page.

Recycling in Remote part of Lanzarote Recycling at Waitrose, Surbiton
Recycling in remote Lanzarote
village (and distant wind turbines).
Part of a facility in a Surbiton car park (showing charity benefit).
Click on the pictures for an enlarged view

  The UK compares badly with Europe in terms of the percentage of domestic waste that is recycled. However, The UK edged upwards in the European Union recycling league table during 2010 despite sending a large proportion of its waste to landfill, according to the latest European waste statistics, published by the EU statistical body Eurostat.
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  Nevertheless, The Environment Agency developed aims to manage and improve the environment.
Ever wondered what SITA stands for? We have asked men working for the company, even those wearing the T-shirt and they didn't know.
Anyway, it is Societe Industrielle de Transports Automobiles (Industrial Company for Automobile Transport).
  The two links provided below are to government department information web pages. Our experience is that government departments are prone to change their URLs without notification and without providing an alternative forwarding link. If you find the links are broken we would appreciate it if you could let us know.
    Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 are expressed in Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 894. We venture to say that these regulations are not aimed at the 'lay' person and certainly do not make light reading. However, if you have responsibilities within an organisation which produces waste or if you are otherwise professionally involved with carrying, disposing of or treating waste which might fall into the class of hazardous waste then consider them essential reading.
    The Environment Agency gives advice on Duty of Care and about giving your waste to other people. Their site also gives a lot of useful information on waste, hazardous waste, your waste responsibilities, legal aspects etc.

Householders are not subject to the hazardous waste regulations (see above) for the movement of hazardous waste from domestic premises to a central collection point with the exception of asbestos. However, this apparent exemption is a fine point because since the 21st of November 2005 householders have to comply with a Duty of Care which confers specific responsibilities. These responsibilities are outlined below.
If householders hire contractors such as builders and allied trades, landscape gardeners, tree fellers and surgeons, house clearers, retail establishments or scrap metal merchants who are removing waste items from their property, these people will normally need a waste carrier registration. If the contractor is not registered, the householder should refuse their services and request that they seek advice from the Environment Agency.
Householders can be fined up to £5000 if they have not taken care to ensure that their waste is passed on to an appropriately authorised person. You should note that the generation of asbestos waste requires special attention and in such cases we can see no alternative to consulting a registered expert.
[Note: we have drafted the above description, as a guide for the lay person, after consulting the Environment Agency. We are not registered nor otherwise qualified on this topic and no one at Envocare can give advice. You can find more information by clicking on the silver ball.]

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For legal matters see the section "About Us & Contact Us".
Originated: 26 November, 2001,  Updated: 7 May, 2013