Regulatory FAQ

Waste Legislation:

Any business which produces, handles or disposes of waste has a legal requirement to ensure that it complies with ‘Duty of Care’ legislation.Duty of Care requirements are described in more detail on the GOV.UK website.

The Duty of Care requirements brought in by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 require that:

  • Waste is stored appropriately; for example it is properly contained.
  • Waste can only be collected by registered waste carriers (unless it is an internal movement within a company).
  • Collections of waste must be accompanied by a valid ‘Waste Transfer Note’ which includes a description of the waste collected, ensuring all parties are aware of how to handle and move the waste safety and appropriately.
  • The records of transfers of waste are kept for at least two years.
  • Waste must only be transported to an authorised facility that has the necessary waste management licensing for example an environmental permit – It is the producer’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case. If your waste is found fly-tipped there is no defence in the eyes of the law.
  • All transfers of waste between two parties must be covered by the correct documentation.

Non-hazardous waste movements are covered by a Waste Transfer Note (WTN) which must accompany the transfer.

Hazardous waste movements require a consignment note which must accompany the transfer.

The legal requirements for what must be included on a Waste Transfer note are as follows:

  • A brief written description of the waste being transferred.
  • The relevant List of Waste code (formerly European Waste Catalogue code) for the waste being transferred.
  • An indication of how the waste is contained e.g. loose, in sacks, skip or drum
  • A Standard Industry Classification 2007 code for the business where the waste is stored prior to collection.
  • An indication that the waste hierarchy has been considered.
  • Identify the amount of waste being passed on, for example the number of sacks or other containers, the volume of waste or its weight.
  • The name of the producer of the waste.
  • The name of the person receiving the waste and their status. For example whether they are a registered waste carrier including their waste carriers registration number.
  • The date, time and address of the transfer of the waste between the two parties.
  • Both parties must sign and print the waste transfer note and a record should be kept for at least two years.

In cases where the same waste type is being collected by the same collector and taken to the same disposal point an annual waste transfer note may be used – for example Trade Waste(wheelie bin and sack collections) – to negate the need for individual transaction waste transfer notes being generated.

It is illegal to collect non-hazardous waste (both industrial and commercial) without a valid waste transfer note. Normally the waste transfer note is supplied by the collector of the waste.

It is the producer’s responsibility to ensure that the List of Waste LOW code (formerly known as the European Waste Catalogue code) is correct; this is important for the following reasons:

  • It ensures that both parties are aware of exactly what is being transferred and therefore the handling requirements.
  • The List of Waste LOW code (formerly known as the European Waste Catalogue code) determines whether the disposal site can accept the waste. This is because all sites which have Environmental Permits (or exemptions), are restricted to certain waste types which they can accept.

Waste transfer notes also ask if the waste hierarchy has been considered. The waste hierarchy covers five steps for dealing with waste. These steps are ranked in preference according to the best outcome for the environment. These options range from the best environmental outcome being ‘Prevention’, through to the least favoured option: ‘Landfill’.

Stages Include
Prevention: Using less material in design and manufacture. Keeping products for longer; re-use. Using less hazardous
Preparing for re-use: Checking, cleaning, repairing, refurbishing, whole items or spare parts.
Recycling: Turning waste into a new substance or product. Includes composting if it meets quality protocols.
Other recovery: Anaerobic digestion, incineration with energy recovery, gasification and pyrolysis which produce energy (fuels, heat and power) and materials from waste; some backfilling.
Disposal: Landfill and incineration without energy recovery.

For more information about the waste hierarchy please follow the link below:

For more information regarding your Duty of Care please following the link below:

Waste must be classified so that it can be correctly described as either hazardous, non-hazardous, ‘mirror hazardous’ or ‘mirror non-hazardous’.‘Absolute hazardous’ or ‘Absolute non-hazardous’ – These types of waste always classed as hazardous or non-hazardous; if a waste is considered as ‘absolute hazardous’ then the chemicals in the waste do not have to be found out.

‘Mirror hazardous’ or ‘Mirror non-hazardous’ – This is where waste types are mostly hazardous or non-hazardous but they are sometimes either. Factors which may influence this description could be the concentration of chemicals in the waste or other dangerous substances above certain levels.

The classification must also be carried out for the following reasons:

  • So that it is correctly transported, handled and processed.
  • The waste is described by the correct code.
  • So that relevant controls are applied to the waste.
  • A suitable waste management option is used. For example the waste is only taken to a site which can accept the particular List of Waste code for the waste type in question.

For more information regarding the classification of waste please refer to the link below:

As of the 1st January 2015, waste collectors (both private companies and local authorities) must collect four main waste streams separately from general waste, when conducting household and trade waste collections. The four waste streams applicable are:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Paper
  • Plastic

The aim of this legislation is to increase the recycling rates of the company or local authority involved as well as to increase the quality of the products being recycled – this is a result of the materials not being contaminated with general waste.

Private companies and local authorities must comply with the legislation if it is both:

  1. Necessary, to produce high quality recyclables (the ‘necessity test’).
  2. Technically, environmentally or economically practicable to do so (the ‘TEEP test’).

The necessity test is an investigation into the materials being collected by the waste producer to see if a separate collection would improve the recovery rate of the waste being collected.

TEEP stands for ‘Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable’ – in relation to the separate collection of waste. Essentially this means that if a separate waste collection is possible and workable then a separate collection should be carried out.

Formerly known as the European Waste Catalogue Classification (EWC)

Under duty of care regulations the waste type being transferred must be defined with a brief written description as well as a specific LOW Code (formerly known as the European Waste Catalogue code) made up of six numbers.

The codes are standardised throughout Europe which ensures that waste is more effectively monitored and managed. The list of codes in its entirety is made up of approximately six-hundred and fifty individual codes split into twenty chapters according to waste type.

Examples include:

Chapter 17 – Construction Industry

Wood – Untreated – 17 02 01

Bricks – 17 01 02

Chapter 15 – Packaging

Clean Packaging – Paper & Cardboard – 15 01 01

For the full list of codes please follow the links below: or

Hazardous waste types are marked on the List of Waste codes catalogue with an asterisk to differentiate them from other waste types. Hazardous waste types include things which one would assume to be hazardous such as certain chemicals and sludge. Other types include everyday items such as fluorescent light tubes or bulbs, mineral oils and refrigerant gases found inside freezers etc. Hazardous waste cannot be mixed with non-hazardous waste and it must be collected separately under hazardous waste consignment procedures. These procedures include the load being accompanied by a consignment note which describes the waste in a similar way to a duty of care waste transfer note but in more detail and depth.

General rules and advice for keeping hazardous waste on site:

  • Make sure that the waste is stored safely and securely.
  • Make sure that the waste is labelled clearly and correctly.
  • Do not mix different types of hazardous waste together.
  • Do not mix hazardous and non-hazardous waste together.
  • Liquid hazardous waste –e.g. oil – should be stored in a controlled area which can contain spills or leaks.
  • Put written instructions, for the safe storage and disposal of the hazardous waste, in clear view for staff to see.
  • Keep a register of the hazardous waste types kept on site and their location. This is to aid the emergency services in the event of an incident.

For more information please follow the link below:

It is a requirement of the duty of care legislation that you ensure that your waste is collected by a registered waste carrier.There are two types of carrier licences: Lower tier and upper tier.

Lower Tier – These are businesses which only transport their own waste. This may be from their business premises to their other business premises or to a disposal point. An example of this could be an accountancy firm transporting confidential waste from an office to their head office for shredding or taken to a materials recovery facility for recycling. Lower tier waste carriers will not appear on the public register and there is no application fee or any requirement to renew the licence once registered.

Upper Tier – Businesses which collect waste from customers or construction companies which move demolition materials off site are classed as upper tier waste carriers and must register with the Environment Agency. Application and renewal fees are applicable.

For more information on how to apply please follow the link below:

There are three types of category for animal by product (ABP) waste:

  • Category 1 – This is the highest risk category and it includes material infected with diseases and material containing high levels of drug residues e.g. zoo animals.
  • Category 2 – Generally fallen stock but the default position where the materials is not classified at Cat 1 or 3.
  • Category 3 – Material that is suitable for human consumption, so generally meat related waste from food manufacturers, retailers, kitchens etc.

Animal By-Product regulations affect any business which has meat waste – except catering waste.

In short there are two main levels which businesses should be aware of:

Retail waste – Raw meat, fish waste, eggs and part cooked meat.

Food Manufacturing – Raw meat, fish and bakery products which contain raw meats etc.

These types of animal by product must be disposed of through treatment or incineration. They cannot go to landfill.

Businesses which generate, handle, store, distribute, use or dispose of animal by-products must be registered with the Animal Health section of the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Furthermore any business which transports animal by-product waste must carry documentation which details the following:

  • A detailed description of the contents including the category and quantity.
  • The date of transport.
  • The address of origin and the destination address, as well as contact names for both parties.
  • The approval or registration numbers for the factory or vehicle.
  • The signature of whoever is responsible for the contents.
  • Ear numbers and details of species, where carcasses have been taken from farms.

For more information please follow the link below:

European requirements state that all waste must be pre-treated prior to landfill disposal.Pre-treatment is where waste is sorted before disposal at landfill, this generally means removing the recyclable materials; resulting in a reduction in the weight which is the main stipulation.

Pre-treatment is usually done in one of two ways. Your waste contractor will either offer you segregated collections on site, such as a wheelie bin for cardboard and another for general waste, or they may offer you a mixed waste collection with the waste contractor conducting the pre-treatment at the their sorting and recycling facilities prior to landfill.

For more information please follow the link below:

In 2007 over 90% of Waste Electrical, Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was landfilled, incinerated or recovered without any pre-treatment. WEEE regulations were introduced to significantly reduce the amount of hazardous components being sent to landfill or incinerated; which causes pollution in the environment.The regulations also restrict the use of harmful chemicals and components such as cadmium, lead and mercury etc. used in electrical and electronic equipment, by ensuring that substitutes are used where available.

Producer – Is classed as a company which places electrical equipment (EEE) into the UK market for commercial or household consumption. This is applicable through manufacture, import or by selling goods not manufactured by your company but sold under your brand name.

Small Producer – A small producer is a business which places less than five tonnes of EEE onto the UK market in a calendar year; and you must register with the environment agency.

Distributor – Is a business which sells EEE to consumers (but not businesses) directly from shops or indirectly through online or catalogue sales.

Who the WEEE regulations affect:

Producers – If you place more than five tonnes per calendar year in the UK market of EEE you must register through the ‘Producer Compliance Scheme’.

If you place less than five tonnes per calendar year in the UK market of EEE then there are two options available for you. The first is to register with a ‘Producer Compliance Scheme’ or register direct with one of the four environmental agencies.  If you choose the latter option then you have no responsibility for financing the collection and treatment of household WEEE but you are still responsible for non-household WEEE the same as large producers.

Distributors – There are two options for distributors regarding WEEE regulations. You can either offer an in-store takeback scheme which needs to be free of charge for the customer; coupled with signs and information on your company website (if applicable) relating to the takeback scheme. Alternatively you can register with the ‘Distributor Takeback Scheme’ which exempts you from an instore takeback scheme but a fee is levied to be part of this service. Furthermore, you must display information in store regarding the environmental effects of WEEE if it is sent to landfill or incinerated. If the store has a floor area selling electronic goods greater than 400m2 then you must accept any small WEEE free of charge, even if the customer does not purchase any new goods from you. You are exempt from this if you are part of the ‘Distributor Takeback Scheme’.

For more information please follow the links below:

Packing waste regulations apply to your company if it meets the following criteria:Did your company’s total turnover (including subsidiaries if you are part of a group) exceed £2 million?


Does your company (including subsidiaries if you are part of a group) handle more than 50 tonnes of packing per calendar year?

Packing is defined as materials used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods from the producer to the consumer.

Handling is defined as packaging placed in the UK market that is owned by a business and includes the manufacturing or conversion of packaging materials used by the business involved around its products. Imports are included but exports are excluded.

If the answer is ‘yes’ both questions then you are obligated to register with the Environment Agency. If you answer ‘no’ to either, you are not obligated.

For more information please follow the link below:

Batteries are made from various components and chemicals including lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and mercury. If batteries are sent to landfill they can pollute the environment through soil and water pollution and if incinerated they can cause air pollution. Furthermore, these resources are lost and they cannot be recycled.Battery Regulations affect you if you are classed as the following:

Producer – If you place batteries into the UK market or if you import products containing batteries.

Distributor (seller) – If you sell more than 32kgs a year (approximately 24 AA batteries a week), which includes selling to businesses.

Rules for storing batteries:

  • Do not break batteries open as this releases hazardous dust particles.
  • Do not let batteries become wet, for example, batteries which contain lithium can combust as lithium reacts with water.
  • Do not allow batteries to be subject to extremes of temperature as they can explode and release toxic fumes.
  • Never store batteries in metal containers as they can short circuit and potentially cause a fire. Always use a covered plastic container.
  • Never store a mixture of sealed (lithium) and unsealed (lead acid) batteries together as leaking battery acid can cause damage and is a risk to health.

For more information please see the link below:

End-of-life vehicles are motor vehicles that are classed as waste. The parts they are made from and their components are also classed as waste. The definition of waste is anything that is intended to be discarded, required to discarded or is discarded.There are two broad categories of ELVs:

  1. Premature ELVs – Vehicles which are relatively new cars but are damaged beyond repair for example accident write-offs.
  2. Natural ELVs – Vehicles which have reached the end of their life mechanically or for financial reasons.

Regulations were introduced for end of life vehicles for the following reasons:

  • To reduce the amount of waste produced when cars are scrapped.
  • To reduce the amount of hazardous – and increase the amount of recyclable – materials used in the manufacture of new cars.
  • To encourage manufacturers to design cars which are easier to recycle.

The regulations around end of life vehicles mean that only ‘Authorised Treatment Facilities’ can process scrap cars. The treatment must include the following:

  • Removal of battery
  • Removal of LPG tank
  • Removal or activation of explosive devices-airbags and pre-tensioners
  • Removal and separate storage of:
  • Anti-freeze
  • Brake fluids
  • conditioning fluids
  • Cooling liquids
  • Fuel
  • Gearbox oil
  • Hydraulic oil
  • Motor oil
  • Transmission oil

For more information regarding end of life vehicles please follow the below link:

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