Call an expert today: +44 (0)114 272 2270
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe now
Free Environmental Bulletin: Subscribe Email: Call: +44 (0)114 272 2270

Duty of Care: What Does it Really Mean?

17 June 2015

Bethan Stones headshot

Bethan Stones

Group Marketing Manager

Cura Terrae
LinkedIn icon

Every month when the Environmentalist from IEMA lands in the EMS office, we look at the prosecutions to find out what the regulatory bodies have been focussing on recently.  When we opened February’s edition, there was a very interesting prosecution regarding Duty of Care for waste.  Now we quite regularly advise our clients on Duty of Care, checking waste contractors and making sure all of the correct licences and permits are in place before allowing waste to leave their premises.  While our clients understand the purpose, there are few times they get asked to provide evidence, and even fewer times this request comes from a regulatory body.

In this particular case, the company allowed unlicensed contractors to transport and dispose of waste produced by its transfer station over a four month period in 2011, costing the business £16,000 in fines.  SEPA (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) were investigating illegally dumped waste and managed to trace it back to the original owners.  Although not the dumpers of the waste, they failed to carry out the appropriate background checks on the waste contractors they chose to use.  When asked by the agency, they were unable to provide accurate Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs) and could not prove their waste was disposed of correctly and legally, meaning they breached their Duty of Care under the Environmental Protection Act (1990).  This quite obviously cost the company dearly.  In fact, only through early acceptance of responsibility and co-operation, did the company reduce their fine from £24,000 to £16,000.

You may want to do a quick check of all your waste contractors to make sure you are meeting your Duty of Care to be certain you are meeting your legal obligations and your waste is being dealt with correctly.  Here’s what to look out for:

• Waste Carriers Licence from SEPA or the Environment Agency (EA) for any contractor carrying waste on your behalf
• Complete and accurate waste transfer documentation – WTNs for non-hazardous waste and Hazardous Waste Consignment Notes for hazardous  waste
• Environmental permits / waste management licences / exemptions for disposal sites.  Make sure they are licensed to receive the waste you are sending to them.

Hopefully checks will already and have been carried out and everything will be in-date and in place, but it certainly can’t hurt to check!

Recent Insights

Fortnightly Bulletin - 26th February 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 26th February 2024

Two-thirds of councils are not confident they will be able to fund the additional services required to implement simpler recycling reforms, according to a survey by the District Council Network.

Fortnightly Bulletin - 12th February 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 12th February 2024

Amazon has announced that it has signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) with ENGIE, regarding Ocean Winds’ Moray West offshore wind farm in Scotland.

Fortnightly Bulletin - 29th January 2024

Fortnightly Bulletin - 29th January 2024

The Environment Agency has updated the guidance for the food and drink sector. The pollution inventory is used to report releases and transfers from industrial activities that the Environment Agency regulates. 

Bulletin Subscription

Subscribe to our FREE fortnightly Environmental Bulletin for news and updates on the environmental industry.

© 2024 Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd