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All business owners have a statutory duty to dispose of their waste through a licensed waste carrier.
The Duty of Care is a law which says that businesses must take all reasonable steps to keep waste safe. Waste must be stored safely and securely and must not cause pollution to people or the environment. The waste must be packaged in suitable containers so it cannot fall out, blow away or escape from the receptacle. It must be secured against unauthorised removal as far as is reasonably practical. Security should be sufficient to prevent the breaking open of containers and removal of waste by vandals, thieves, animals, accidents or weather.
Businesses must ensure that the person removing the waste is from either a local authority or a licensed waste collection company. Only they will be authorised to remove waste and transport and dispose of it safely. The business must provide a written description of the waste to the person who removes it. This is known as a waste transfer note and must be completed by both persons involved in the transfer.
If a business owner breaches their Duty of Care, the council, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, have the power to issue them with legal notices:
Section 34 (Environmental Protection Act 1990) notice
This notice requires a business owner to produce copies of a valid Waste Transfer Note (WTN). Failure to produce a valid WTN may result in a fixed penalty notice of £300. If taken to court, offenders may face a fine of up to £5,000.
Section 47 (Environmental Protection Act 1990) notice
This notice may be issued when additional or excess waste is deposited next to a commercial waste bin. It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that waste us stored securely. For example, if you have excess waste you must make additional arrangements with the registered waste carrier. A business that fails to comply may receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, or face a fine of up to £1,000 in court.
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