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Business waste - information and advice

Businesses have a legal obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safe disposal of their waste.

Under the Environment Protection Act 1990, all businesses have a duty of care to ensure their waste is collected, treated and disposed of responsibly.

This includes:

  • waste produced while working at private households
  • waste produced by contractors working at your business premises
  • any waste produced from home based business activities

Businesses must separate their waste for disposal and recycling and store it in suitable containers.

Licensed waste service providers and transfer notes

You can fulfil your duty of care by arranging for a licensed waste service provider to collect or treat / dispose of your business waste.

The Environment Agency keeps registers of companies that can collect and/or dispose of your waste. If a company cannot provide you with evidence that they are licensed waste service provider, do not use them.

The licensed waste service provider will give you a waste transfer note, which will outline the type and amount of waste to be collected. If repeated collections are required, you can have a waste transfer note that will cover a period of up to one year. You must keep the waste transfer note for a minimum of two years.

More information on the duty of care for businesses can be found at:

GOV.UK - business and commercial waste

Environment Agency - Duty of Care

Environment Agency Public register Search


Updated: 28 Jan 2020
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