As business owners we are bound by all sorts of rules and regulations around how we operate, the business waste we produce is no exception to this. In the article, we will delve into what businesses need to know about their waste obligations and some tips on how to stay compliant.
As a business owner, you are required by law to dispose of your waste in an environmentally-friendly manner. This means ensuring that any waste you produce does not end up in landfill. There are a number of ways you can do this, such as recycling or using a waste management company to make sure your waste is dealt with professionally.
What HMRC say about waste
“Businesses have a duty of care to ensure that any business waste they produce is disposed of safely and correctly. This includes making sure that waste is only transferred to authorised persons, such as registered waste carriers, brokers or dealers”
This means that If you carry out work on other people’s behalf, for example, if you are a builder or run a construction company, you must make sure that the waste you produce is disposed of correctly by an authorised person.
What are the consequences of breaking your obligations?
As well as potentially damaging the environment, If you are found to be disposing of business waste illegally, you could face a fine of up to £5000.
What counts as waste?
The definition of waste can be quite broad, but generally speaking, waste is any material that you no longer have a use for. This can include things like office paper, packaging, food scraps and construction materials.
Business waste compliance types
There are a few different types of compliance that businesses need to be aware of when it comes to business waste:
Duty of care – As a business owner, you have a duty of care to make sure that any waste you produce is disposed of safely and correctly. This includes making sure that waste is only transferred to authorised persons, such as registered waste carriers, brokers or dealers. You can view the HMRC duty of care policy here
Producer responsibility – You may also have obligations under producer responsibility schemes. These are schemes that aim to reduce the environmental impact of certain products by making manufacturers and producers responsible for recycling or disposing of them correctly. You can find out more about producer responsibility here
Packaging regulations – If your business produces or sells packaging, you will need to comply with the packaging regulations. These regulations aim to reduce the amount of packaging waste produced each year. You can find out more about packaging regulations here
Waste management licensing – If your business deals with certain types of waste, such as hazardous waste, you may need to have a waste management license or a waste management company that can remove this for you.
How to stay compliant
The best way to make sure you are disposing of your business waste correctly is to use a registered waste carrier. A registered waste carrier is a company that has been approved by the Environment Agency to transport and dispose of waste legally.
When using a registered waste carrier, you should always get a ‘ transfer note’. This is a document that proves that your waste has been taken off your hands by a registered waste carrier and will be disposed of correctly.
How waste management can help
Waste management companies can take care of all your waste disposal needs, from providing bins and recycling services to arranging for your waste to be collected and disposed of by a registered waste carrier.
Reducing your carbon footprint with waste management
When you choose to use a waste management company, you can be sure that your business waste will be disposed of in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. This helps to reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment.
A good waste management company will be able to provide you with a report on where your waste goes and even how this has affected your environmental status
If you are unsure about any aspect of your business waste obligations or would like help staying compliant, get in touch with the team at CDDL for a free waste audit.