How waste is commercially handled, transported and disposed of is tightly regulated in the UK, and rightly so. For instance, customers needing hazardous waste removed from their premises must register annually with the Environment Agency in England and Wales 1 or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. But as a hygiene and waste management provider, Citron Hygiene also has to conform to a range of appropriate Government legislation.
This includes registering as a waste carrier, broker or dealer. The reason for this is to ensure waste is properly disposed of and does not result in actions that could potentially harm the health of individuals, animals or the environment. For example, fly tipping and incorrect disposal by unregistered companies.
Who must register?
In the UK a business must register for a waste carrier, broker or dealer licence if it:
- Transports waste
- Buys, sells or disposes of waste
- Arranges for someone else to buy, sell or dispose of waste
It is obvious that a company like Citron Hygiene - that is in the business of transporting and disposing of waste - must register, but so too must other organisations. For instance, if you produce waste as a business and you take it to the local refuse and recycle centre yourself, you have to register. Examples could include the building trade, decorators, gardeners, shop owners and so on.
The waste registration process
A waste carrier must register with their relevant regulatory body, whether the Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. While there is separate legislation for England, Wales and Scotland, registration in one country of Great Britain is applicable in all of the countries. The relevant legislation is the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 and the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011. There are separate legislation and registration requirements for Northern Ireland.
Registration is free if you only transport waste you produce yourself, otherwise there will be a charge depending on the level of registration and which agency you register with.
The details required for registration include the personal and contact details of key people in the company as they are part of the chain of responsibility. Every organisation registered as a waste carrier, broker or dealer will appear on the relevant online database2.
Consequences for not registering
Failing to register, for whatever reason, can result in a fine of up to £5,000 for the business in question. If you are using a company that you believe is not on the register, but should be, contact the relevant Environment Agency.
It is a sad fact that whilst not registering might be due to an administrative error in some cases, it most likely means the waste is not being handled or disposed of correctly.
Fly tipping or the illegal dumping of rubbish is a growing problem. In 2013/14, local authorities in England reported around 852,000 fly tipping cases and the Environment Agency had to deal with another 137 incidents, a rise of 20% from the previous year. Clearing up this waste on public land costs the taxpayer £47 million, but for private landowners this figure has been estimated to be up to £150 million.
By using a registered waste business you can trust that your waste is being transported and treated properly with due care for the law and the environment. As councils crackdown on fly tipping they will use the evidence in the waste they find to trace it back to the source. This means not using a registered waste business to dispose of your waste could put you at risk of a knock at the door from the council.
Reassurance of proper waste management
The rules and regulations that manage the safe transport and disposal of waste in the UK are there to protect everyone and our environment. Waste can often be hazardous and it has to be treated correctly. Its correct disposal is a cost we have to meet in business, but the costs of not handling waste properly can be much higher to our communities.
2 The database for England is: http://epr.environment-agency.gov.uk/ePRInternet/searchregisters.aspx