Tag: Duty of Care

What is considered as waste and how is it managed correctly?

Dealing with waste and ensuring a safe and clean work environment is not an easy task. According to the Government Guidance Waste Regulations (2011), waste is defined as ‘any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard’.  The regulations also define the Waste Hierarchy as a priority list for the management of waste with the best environmental outcome at the top (Waste prevention) and the worst at the bottom (Landfill).

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides further information on how specifically an organisation could make provision for the management of pollution from industrial processes. Additionally, contains the key management actions of defining controlled waste, municipal, commercial and industrial wastes.

Managing all type of waste requires a duty of care on anyone who produces, imports, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste and all have their own responsibility for ensuring their waste does not cause pollution or harm to human health

By following this simple checklist below, you will be able to comply with the legislation

  • Check your containers are well-constructed and clearly labelled.
  • That where you store them is suitable and safe.
  • Your carrier is registered.
  • The company you send it to is permitted for your waste.
  • You get a copy of the collection note (Can be electronic).
  • For hazardous waste, a receipt of waste acceptance from disposal site.
  • You keep the records for 3 years.
  • Chain of responsibility for storing, transporting and receiving.

The regulatory entity is a separate agency for each country.  In England ‘Environment Agency’, in Wales ‘Natural Resource Wales’, in Scotland ‘Scottish Protection Agency’ and in Northern Ireland ‘Environment Agency’.  All work together under a memorandum of understanding to ensure waste moving from one country to the next are managed correctly.

What if I don’t handle my waste properly?

Improper waste management affects the overall economy of a country. Moreover, the environment also faces a great threat due to pollution, spills, and discharge of chemicals which may cause water and soil contamination around other major problems. Also, it increases the risk the health and safety of your workplace and potentially leads to financial penalties.

The financial penalties for incorrectly disposing of waste and for breaking the law include;

  1. Fixed penalties – up to £400
  2. Enforcement undertakings which are voluntary contributions in lieu of prosecution. For example, water companies and household names such as Barclays Bank have agreed to a series of enforcement undertakings with the Environment Agency, the largest being £306,509 from Severn Trent Water for an unpermitted discharge in 2016.
  3. Convictions as Magistrates Court max £50K fine and 1-year imprisonment, Crown Court unlimited fine and up to 5 years in jail.




Waste Hierarchy

Why is it important that companies dispose of waste safely and ethically?

Companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that the production, storage, transportation, and disposal of controlled waste is done without harming the environment. This is called your duty of care. Your duty of care obligations for your waste continues even after the collection and removal from your premises. You have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that when you transfer waste to a third party that the waste is managed correctly throughout its complete journey to disposal or recovery.

Duty of Care/Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy ranks waste management options according to what’s best for the environment. It gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place. When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use, then recycling, then recovery, and last of all disposal (e.g. landfill).

The Waste Hierarchy is essentially a list of waste prevention and disposal options. Anyone disposing of hazardous waste must consider the Hierarchy and seek the highest possible option before agreeing a disposal route. Kleenwaste help you by providing the correct consignment notes for hazardous waste and transfer notes for non-hazardous waste. This is your legal confirmation Kleenwaste is managing not only your waste, but also supporting your duty of care responsibilities.

Throughout our partnership with you, Kleenwaste considers every opportunity to reduce your waste and is dedicated to the recycling and re-use of all waste it collects.

Kleenwaste has the expertise you need:

  • Help manage your duty of care responsibilities
  • Work with you to assess contaminants in your waste
  • Work with you to determine best possible way to manage your waste stream
  • You’ll receive full transparency and all required legal documentation
  • We operate our own specialised vehicle fleet and fully trained staff