Householder’s Duty of Care in Relation to Rubbish
What is Duty of Care?
As a householder you have a legal obligation to ensure any waste or rubbish you have created is disposed of correctly to prevent harm to the environment. This is known as your Duty of Care. You must take steps to show that you have passed your waste onto an appropriate person. This includes scrap metal items including kitchen appliances.
How do I dispose of waste responsibly?
Most household waste is disposed of in household waste bins emptied by the Council’s refuse contractor.
There are several ways to dispose of any other household waste correctly:-
- Take it to a local Household Waste Recycling Site where various items can be disposed of free. Check East Sussex County Council’s website (external link) for your nearest site and information on any charges.
- Employ a registered waste carrier to remove the waste.
- Hire a skip
- Use the Council’s bulky waste service (fees payable)
- If you are having work done, pay your contractor to clear the waste, ensuring they are registered as a waste carrier.
How do I make sure a Waste Carrier is Registered?
- Check the Environment Agency’s Register of Waste Carriers (external link) or by calling 03708 506 506.
- Ask to see their Waste Carrier’s Licence, this will usually be an A4 sheet of paper or a credit card licence and will have the Environment Agency logo on it.
What do I need to do to comply with my Duty of Care?
- Always check the waste carrier is registered with the Environment Agency (external link).
- When they show you a Waste Carrier’s Licence write down or photograph the details.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly about where your waste will be taken.
- Record any vehicle registrations.
- Be prepared to pay a reasonable price for your waste to be disposed of – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Ask for and retain a receipt which contains details of their business.
Unsolicited Waste Collectors
Never allow unsolicited collectors to remove your waste without carrying out the above steps. Any legitimate waste carrier will be more than willing to provide you with proof of their registration and a receipt.
What about scrap metal?
Scrap metal is classed as waste and the same rules apply. The practice of leaving your old kitchen appliances outside for the ‘scrap man’ to remove when passing is no longer valid or legal. You still have a duty of care to ensure your scrap metal is passed onto a legitimate waste carrier who is also registered with the local council as a Scrap Collector.
What happens if I don’t carry out my Duty of Care?
If your waste is found fly tipped and you are unable to show that you took reasonable steps to prevent someone else dumping your waste unlawfully we may take action against YOU.
You could receive a significant fine and a criminal record if we take you to court.
Alternatively we may issue you with a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice payable within 14 days.