Why Do I Need to Have Waste Disposal Site Information on File for my Waste?

Our last blog in our Duty of Care series covers the information you need to have about the site you send your waste too.  Read our previous blogs on Duty of Care here and Waste Carriers Licences here.

What should disposal sites have?

Any site that deals with third party waste (disposing, recycling or receiving to transfer to another site) must be allowed to do so.  There are various types of permits and licences that may be applicable depending on waste type and what they are doing with it.  Typically, a site will have an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency allowing them to receive certain waste types and carry out prescribed activities.  Some sites that deal with smaller quantities of waste may have an exemption from permitting or a Waste Management Licence, which was the system in place before Environmental Permitting.

Where can I get a copy the permit/ licence?

You should be able to get a copy of the permit or licence from the company you arranged the collection with – the waste carrier or broker.  You find out where your waste is being taken to and get a copy of the permit or licence.  Additionally, you can use the register maintained by the Environment Agency to check that the disposal sites you are using have the correct permissions.  You should keep a dated screenshot of any checks and regularly check the register to ensure they remain valid.

What do I need to look for in the licence/ permit?

You need to check the disposal site permit/ licence to ensure the waste type that you are sending there is allowed to be accepted.  There will be a full list of allowed wastes with the EWC code (6 digit European code to describe the waste).  If your waste is not included, the site is not allowed to accept it and you should not be sending it there.  Most permits/ licences do not expire, but some exemptions do, so you will need to check that it is in date too.

Why do I need the licence on file?

Checking where your waste goes is part of the overarching legal requirement of Duty of Care.  As a waste producer, you must make sure that your waste is dealt with legally and correctly even after it has left your possession.  In the event of your waste being disposed of incorrectly, you must be able to demonstrate that you did everything in your power to ensure your waste was dealt with properly.  One part of that is making sure your waste goes to an authorised waste disposal site.

Even if you use a waste broker to arrange your waste collections, you should still have documentation on file to prove waste is being taken to the correct site, which will consist of a permit, licence or exemption.  You should check this applies to your waste and keep it on file.