Getting rid of waste - what you need to check

If you use a waste carrier other than Guildford Borough Council to remove household, garden or construction waste, you have a 'duty of care' to check that the person or company is a registered waste carrier. Find out how you can do this.

If a contractor fly tips your waste, or disposes of it illegally, you the householder can be held responsible under 'duty of care' regulations. This means that, under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, you can be issued with a fixed penalty notice, or face prosecution in severe offences.

Your waste disposal responsibilities

To help us crack down on fly tipping in our borough, please check the following before using a contractor to transport or get rid of your waste:

  • check that they are registered as a waste carrier, broker, or dealer of waste (see how to do this below)

  • check they are a waste management operator who has an environmental permit, or registered exemption, to take the waste you want them to

  • check where they intend to take the waste and whether the place is authorised to accept the waste.

Before you take waste to a site, you should check that it has an environmental permit or registered exemption to take the waste.

You should carry out more detailed checks if you suspect your waste is not being handled properly, for example by requesting evidence that your waste is accurately described on documentation and that it has arrived at the intended destination.

How to check

  • Ask your waste carrier to provide evidence of their authorisation, such as a copy of their permit, or proof of their exemption.

  • Check that your waste carrier is listed on the Environment Agency's public register online or call 03708 506 506 to check.

What else do you need to do?

  • Record any checks that you make, you can use this as evidence that you've met your duty of care.

  • Check that the waste is properly stored to prevent any damage to the environment.

  • Check that the waste is accurately described on any paperwork (such as the Waste Transfer Note).

  • Get a Waste Transfer Note or receipt that includes the company's details and contact information, as well as a description of waste when you hand the waste over. You should keep this for two years. The company may be able to provide a Waste Transfer Note, if not you can download a template from the Environment Agency website.

  • Ensure that any waste on your property is contained and can't escape and cause a nuisance elsewhere. Storage containers used should be suitable for the task, preventing leakage, contamination and spoiling.

  • Limit access to the waste to those that are authorised to handle it. This will stop people adding to the waste.

  • If you suspect that your waste isn't being handled properly, do not use the company but find someone who does meet the duty of care regulations.