Duty of Care for Waste Disposal
Flintshire County Council is warning residents to be vigilant when taking up offers from individuals posing as legitimate waste disposal businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
Most people are doing the right thing and continuing to minimise the waste they produce and dispose of it correctly. However, we are seeing an increase in the number of “man in a van” type operations being set up, who are posing as legitimate waste disposal businesses and are taking advantage of the current crisis by offering to take residents’ waste away for a small cash fee.
Some of these operations are not registered or authorised to take waste away and are illegal.
The law has not changed and, as an occupier of a domestic property, residents have a legal duty to make sure that their household waste, produced on their property, is passed to an authorised person for correct disposal. This is detailed in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Legislation requires a resident to:
- Check with Natural Resources Wales that the person or company that they are using is a registered waste carrier
- Ask where the waste is being taken to.
In addition to the legislative requirements Fly Tipping Action Wales also recommend that residents:
- Record details on the person / company taking their waste (name / registration number);
- Keep a receipt detailing description of the waste and company used;
- Record details of the business or vehicle used to take the waste (registration number, make, model and colour)
As a waste disposal business, you must register with Natural Resource Wales if your main place of business is Wales and you:
- transport waste as part of your business
- buy, sell or dispose of waste
- arrange for someone else to buy, sell or dispose of waste
Two thirds of fly-tipping in Flintshire originates from households. As a resident, you have a legal “Duty of Care” to dispose of your own waste responsibly. If your waste is found to be dumped illegally, whether you know about it or not, you can be fined up to £5,000, and anyone caught fly-tipping will face prosecution and a large fine. We will continue our enforcement efforts on behalf of Flintshire residents and prosecute offenders whenever the evidence allows.
While we have some sympathy with residents who may have quantities of waste building up, we must emphasise that, for everyone's health and safety, please dispose of your waste responsibly or keep it at home until the Household Recycling Centres are open again when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
We are working hard to ensure that we continue to pick up waste and recycling from the kerbside, so that there is no need to travel. Recycling points are still available at some supermarkets, but residents are requested not to make special visits to them, in line with government guidance, but to use them while doing their essential shopping.
Again, we are urging residents to manage their waste responsibly and ensure that anyone who is self-isolating follows the government guidelines:
- Personal waste such as used tissues, disposable cleaning cloths and masks should be placed securely within disposable rubbish bags.
- These bags should be double-bagged i.e. placed into another second bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
- Children, pets and pests should not be able to access this place. Waste should not be left unsupervised on the pavement awaiting collection.
- This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste (black) bin.
- If your household is self-isolating because someone has viral symptoms, please do not put your recycling out for collection for 14 days. After 14 days, you can put out your recycling as usual.
Please make sure that you act responsibly in following the advice for the safety of our workforce and for your household. Flintshire County Council is ensuring that waste collections remain in place during the current situation. We will support all residents and collect from all households who follow our advice.
With fly tipping reportedly on the increase since lockdown, Flintshire County Council is appealing to residents to be vigilant when asking traders to dispose of their waste.
The majority of authorised waste disposal sites and waste transfer stations are now closed and are not accepting waste from external organisations, and this include all Flintshire County Council operated Household Recycling Centres and the Greenfield green waste composting site.
We are asking you to check that any person you pass your waste on to is licensed to take it away and that the waste is being taken to a legally permitted site, which you have checked is open and accepting waste.
Businesses in Wales that use, recycle, treat, store or dispose of waste need a permit from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to legally operate. To find out if a trader has a permit, licence or exemption to operate legally you can check NRW’s online public register.
As an occupier of a domestic property, you have a legal duty to make sure that your household waste, produced on your property, is passed to an authorised person for legal disposal. If your waste is passed to an unregistered operator or is found to be fly-tipped illegally you could face prosecution.