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 unlicensed waste carriers across the borough who aren't authorised to take your rubbish, and many of these will fly-tip the waste they collect instead of disposing of it correctly. 

Since the Household Waste Duty of Care Regulations 2005 you must make sure that your household waste is properly disposed of. If you give your waste to an unlicensed carrier you're 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 for their full name, address and to see their waste carriers' licence.

Note down or take a photo of their licence number and check if they have a valid waste carriers' licence with the Environment Agency. If a waste carrier isn't 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 they're licensed we recommend that you also:

  • research to make sure they're genuine and reputable
  • 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 don't, and your waste is fly-tipped, you could be charged with a duty of care offence.

If you suspect that they might not be licensed you can report an unlicensed waste carrier to us.

Other ways to dispose of your rubbish

Before finding a licensed waste carrier there may be other ways to dispose of your household waste: