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Legal Requirements

The main piece of UK legislation in relation to waste is the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This is a comprehensive acts covering many aspects of the environment, so to make things easier we have outlined the key points relating to waste in the list below. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we advise that you seek advice if you are unsure of your requirements.

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Sections 34, 37 and 47 state that by law you must:

  • Make sure rubbish from your businesses is stored, handled, recycled and disposed of safely and by licensed businesses only. Anyone removing your waste will need to hold a Waste Carriers Licence. You can check if a business has a licence by visiting the Natural Resources Wales or Environment Agency website.
  • Make a formal record of what happens to your recycling and waste using a Waste Transfer note (WTN). Each WTN must be signed by you and the registered waste carrier who collects your rubbish. If you take your waste and recycling to an authorised site you will be given a WTN as proof of disposal. For more information visit the Gov.uk website.
  • Keep a formal record of all your WTNs for at least two years. Council officers may request to see these when performing routine checks under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Failure to produce documentation can lead to a £300 fine or prosecution in court where the maximum fine is £5,000. The maximum fine for illegally dumping rubbish is £50,000 or five years in prison.
  • Hold a waste carriers licence if you wish to transport and dispose of your own waste. These can be purchased from Natural Resources Wales
  • Ensure that all waste is presented in the containers specified by their waste contractor and stated in their WTN. Any waste presented in the wrong container or receptacle (such as a black bag) may be searched and could result in a fixed penalty notice and a fine.
  • Abide by waste presentation time restrictions. You will be provided with specific presentation times by your chosen waste collection contractor, dependant on your location and collection schedule.

If you sign a contract with Cardiff Council’s Commercial Waste Team we will help you to meet all the legal requirements of waste storage and disposal. This includes our Duty of Care Scheme which ensures all legal documentation is kept up-to-date. Your contract manager and the rest of the team will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have in regards to your responsibilities.

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