Household waste and your duty of care

You're responsible for any waste you give to someone else to dispose of, even if you're not handling it yourself. There are illegal carriers across the borough who are not authorised to take your rubbish, and many of these will fly-tip the waste they collect instead of disposing of it correctly. 

If you give your household waste to an unlicensed carrier, you are committing a criminal offence. It's your duty of care to make sure that the person or company removing your waste is authorised to do so. If they're not, you can be prosecuted.

How to check if a waste carrier has a licence

If you give your waste to anybody, you should always ask to see their waste carrier licence. Note down or take a photo of their licence number, and check this with the Environment Agency. If a waste carrier is not licensed, refuse their service. 

If you're using a private contractor to remove your household waste, you can carry out extra checks to make sure it’s being properly handled. After checking that any waste carrier you use is licensed, we recommend that you:

  • make sure they're a genuine and reputable waste carrier
  • ask where they're going to take your waste
  • note down the registration number of any vehicle removing waste from your home
  • ask for a receipt of their service

If you suspect that a waste carrier might be unlicensed, you can report them to us.

Other ways to get rid of your rubbish

Before finding a licenced waste carrier, there may be other ways to get rid of your household waste: