Commercial waste - a guide for businesses

All businesses have a duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to keep their waste safe and for the disposal of all their recyclable materials and commercial waste. This applies to the keeping of waste and to the disposal and recycling of waste.

Business rates do not cover any recycling or waste collections. Every business creates waste, and every business is legally responsible for looking after their waste and ensuring it is disposed of properly.

Under the law, all waste a business creates is known as 'controlled waste'. It can be from a house, school, university, hospital, nursing home, shop, office, factory or any other trade or business premises.

It can include anything you produce or need to throw away, from unwanted mail to scrap metal, cleaning products, food eaten by your staff on the premises, waste paper, plastics, floor sweepings, or ashtray waste. 'Controlled waste' doesn’t have to be hazardous or toxic to be covered by the law.

It’s your responsibility to dispose of it correctly. This responsibility is known legally as your 'duty of care'. If you fail in your duty of care, you could be liable to prosecution.

How to find or check a registered waste carrier

If your business is in Bradford, we can offer you a competitive trade waste and recycling collection service.

You can also find a registered carrier or check the collection service you use are registered on the Environment Agency website

Who needs to register as an authorised person (registered waste carrier)

Unless you qualify for an exemption, if you want to transport controlled wastes in England and Wales as part of your business or otherwise with a view to profit or gain, you need to register with the Environment Agency as an authorised person.

Inspections of trade waste carriers

The Environmental Health Enforcement Team together with the Police and other agencies regularly carry out investigations and operations to detect illegal waste carriers.

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