Duty of Care
WHAT is the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) regulation 1991 (as amended)?
If you are a business or industry, which the University is, the Duty of Care applies. Commercial, industrial, household wastes and Special Wastes are classified as ‘controlled waste.’ The Duty of Care applies to all ’Controlled Waste’ – this means that waste materials produced as part of your operations or within your workplace are regulated by law and are subject to the Duty of Care. As a business, the University has a duty to ensure that any waste produced is handled safely and in accordance with the law (see below). This is the ‘Duty of Care’ and it applies to anyone who produces, imports, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste from business or industry or acts as a waste broker in this respect.
If you produce waste you are responsible for ensuring the safe and proper disposal or recovery of that waste, even after you have passed it on to another party such as a waste contractor, scrap metal merchant, recycler, local council or skip hire company.
The Duty of Care has no time limit, and extends until the waste has either been finally and properly disposed of or fully recovered.
Who is affected?
In basic terms you are required to:
- Ensure all waste is stored and disposed of responsibly
- Ensure waste is only handled or dealt with by individuals or businesses that are authorised to deal with it.
- Keep a record of all waste received or transferred through a system of signed Waste Transfer Notes (WTN) or Waste Consignment Notes (WCN) depending on the waste.
How does this affect you?
A Waste Transfer Note is required per waste transfer between different holders. For repetitive transfers, there is provision to use a 'season ticket’ i.e. one transfer note will cover multiple transfers over a given period of time of up to 12 months. The use of a season ticket is, however, only permissible where the parties involved in each transfer are the same and where the description of the waste transferred remains the same.
The WTN must contain enough information about the waste to enable anyone coming into contact with it to handle it safely and either dispose of it or allow it to be recovered within the law.
You should describe on the WTN both in words and by reference to the appropriate codes in the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) the quantity and types of each different waste being transferred. The requirement was introduced by the respective Landfill Regulations.
Never rely on waste carriers or waste management contractors to describe your waste for you on WTN’s. You, as the producer, are in the best position to accurately describe your waste. Ensure that description of the waste on documentation is accurate. Non-specific terms such as 'general waste' or 'inert waste' are not acceptable. Both parties to the transfer must sign the transfer note e.g. you and the waste carrier must sign the WTN before the waste leaves your site. This is your record of the nature and quantity of waste you transferred, how it was packaged, when you transferred it, where it should go and who you transferred it to – all requirements of the Duty of Care.
You must keep copies of all WTN’s for at least two years. Waste Consignment Notes work in a similar way for Special Waste only. These must also describe the waste fully and have the correct EWC code. Waste Consignment Notes must be retained for three years.
A diagram that illustrates this process in simple terms can be viewed by clicking here.
This page was last updated on 26-Jan-2011 09:30:13 GMT