Waste and what to do with it can be a complex and confusing issue, especially when it’s not your business, simply a byproduct of your business. Yet anyone who produces waste has a legal duty of care to ensure it is safely and correctly handled to minimise its impact on our environment.
Builders are in this position. Your work produces construction and demolition waste of varying types, some of which will need special treatment because they are hazardous, for example asbestos.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was all made easier to know what to do with your site waste and be reassured that you have taken the right steps to meet your duty of care?
Here’s the good news! Follow these steps specifically written for the construction and demolition sector to enable you to correctly, safely and legally remove your site waste.
A simple guide to know how to handle your construction and demolition site waste legally
Of course, the best way to handle your site waste, is to minimise the amount you have in the first place. Be careful to buy only the materials you need and reuse were possible. Then follow these steps to correctly manage what waste you do need to remove from site.
Step 1. Identify and label your waste types
- Different waste types need different treatments. You can check how to categorise your waste here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-classify-different-types-of-waste/construction-and-demolition-waste
- Check if your waste is hazardous as different rules will apply: https://www.gov.uk/dispose-hazardous-waste
Step 2. Arrange your waste collection service
- As an SME, you may be able to remove the waste yourself. If you do that, you must be registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency. Register here: https://www.gov.uk/register-renew-waste-carrier-broker-dealer-england
- If you need to or prefer to ask a waste collector to take your site waste away, you must check they have a current waste carriers licence from the Environment Agency. Check here: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
Step 3. Check your site waste is going to the right place
- Check your waste carrier is taking your waste to a site that is legally allowed to deal with the type of waste you are giving them. If you are taking your own site waste for disposal, you also need to check first: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-operations
Step 4. Keep records of the waste that leaves your site
- Make sure you complete a waste transfer note (keep it for 2 years) or a consignment note for hazardous waste (keep it for 3 years). These record what and how much waste you hand over and where it is going to.
- You can keep paper copies or you might want to do this online. It’s up to you: https://www.edoconline.co.uk/
That’s it! If you follow these four simple steps, you will have met your legal waste duty of care.
- Your waste – your responsibility, even if it’s dumped by someone you pass it to for disposal. You could be fined up to £50,000 or face jail.
- If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it anonymously to Crimestoppers: https://www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800 555 111.
- Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/waste-duty-of-care-code-of-practice
- Right Waste Right Place: http://www.rightwasterightplace.com/construction
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