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Making it easier to find registered waste carriers

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Waste

Nick Brenchley, National Lead for Metadata and Data Sharing Systems, discusses the EA's new waste 'widget' to help customers find registered waste carriers. 

Probably the most frequent post on my local community’s Facebook group is a request for recommendations for someone to come and clear some rubbish from their home or garden. Lots of recommendations for local traders follow, but which of them are registered waste carriers who will dispose of that waste legally and responsibly?

The Environment Agency Public Registers will give you all the information you need to identify registered waste carriers, brokers and dealers in your area. Fortunately the local councillor who runs my local Facebook group is well versed in pointing people to the registers to cross check recommendations and make sure they are indeed a registered operator. Not everybody knows to check the register though, which got me and my colleagues in the Data Sharing & Access Team wondering; how could we use our data to help in the fight against waste crime?

Previously, some registered and unregistered waste carriers have used the Environment Agency logo on their websites, promotional material or vehicles to indicate a registration or endorsement. This is an illegal use of our Intellectual Property and presents a number of problems, particularly if the person using it is carrying out illegal activities and using the logo to boost their credibility and get business. Other operators have included a link to their permit on the Environment Agency Public Register. This can be useful but is easy to miss on a webpage and doesn't give much information without users clicking through the links.

With the data we have access to for the Public Registers we wondered if we might be able to come up with something a bit more eye-catching that gives some instant and up to date information that traders could use to point to their registration from the website. Following discussions with partners in the waste industry we came up with the waste carriers ‘widget’.

The widget is a simple online tool which can be installed by registered waste carriers onto their website.  Once installed it pulls active information about their registration from the Public Register onto their website. This means customers can now easily see the information about that registration without having to know where to look. Details including the Business Name, Registration Number and Expiry Date of the Registration are all instantly visible as well as Companies House number where applicable. Better still the customer can click on the Registration number to view the full Public Register information or click on the Companies House number to see details about the company on the Companies House website.

Having the option of adding the widget to their website will make it easier for Waste Carriers to demonstrate their Registration. For potential customers the widget can make the process of identifying a registered Waste Carrier a far simpler one. Making it easier for people to access our public register information and making use of the data we hold can be a useful weapon in the fight against waste crime.

How else can we use the data we have to improve the environment?


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  1. Comment by Jesn posted on

    All I want to know is if the owner of a vehicle is a registered waste carrier. How can I do this ?

  2. Comment by JEAN ROBINSON posted on


  3. Comment by Steve Catchpool posted on

    How come if the use of the logo is illegal the amount of recycling websites that are using it. I requested the use of it with the EA, and they told me that the use was prohibited, so why do you not stop this.

    I even reported some sites and they still have the logo clearly on their sites, I found this today;

    So please tell me why I should abide by your rulings when they are clearly not enforced!

  4. Comment by Lb posted on

    How long does it take for a newly registered waste carrier to appear on the register? Thanks

  5. Comment by Mrs H posted on

    A search by postcode would be useful to find licenced people in an area.

  6. Comment by Kym Grant posted on

    Can a waste carrier use another name to trade.

    • Replies to Kym Grant>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good morning - Customers must tell us about any changes to their registration within 28 days of the change

      The customer will be charged if they:

      amend the legal entity of their business (for example a sole trader becomes a limited company, or if the limited company number changes)
      upgrade their registration type (for example a carrier/dealer becomes a carrier/broker/dealer)
      add new partners to an existing registration (a new registration number and expiry date will be created when the original one is amended)
      remove one or more partners leaving only one as a sole trader (a new registration number and expiry date will be created)
      A customer can remove partners at any point during the registration and they will not be charged, as long as more than one original partner remains.

      If a sole trader dies their registration cannot pass to another person and will cease to be valid.

      If a sole trader sells their business to another person their registration ceases to be valid and the new owner must register in their own right.

  7. Comment by Kaz posted on

    Why can’t a vehicle registration numberplate be checked. There are many people in my area doing waste disposal in trucks which are unmarked with any company name and leaving a mess in the street. They having nothing to show they are licensed waste carriers.

    • Replies to Kaz>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good afternoon, DVLA and the Police are responsible for vehicle licence number plate checking - the Environment Agency are the regulators of the waste industry and do not have access to the vehicle licence database- ^Eileen

      • Replies to eileenroffe>

        Comment by Chris posted on

        Kaz (15/09/22) and Jesn (09/02/22) offer a genuine (and persistent!) use case, which developers at EA really should respond to. I have had the same question for a while and ended up here since yet another "Cash for xxx" flier was posted through my door (predictably, there was no business name, no indication they were waste carriers and only mobile numbers to call).

        Perhaps a partial solution is for EA is to:

        a) collect the licence plate numbers as part of the Waste Carrier registration process (but retain those for internal EA use only);
        b) allow the public to "query" if a licence plate number was associated with a registered carrier (with "This licence plate is/is not associated with a registered waste carrier" being returned in response to a query).

        I appreciate that this is not a perfect solution (since you can't display legitimate licence plates on the public database otherwise there is a risk that they might be cloned). Nevertheless, at least if a user received a negative response to their query, they would know not to go near that "service provider".

        • Replies to Chris>

          Comment by eileenroffe posted on

          Thank you for your comment, we do have to comply with the data protection regulations which means we are allowed to keep certain information regarding our customers that relate tot eh type of licence etc. and for a set period of time. We already have procedures in place to ensure that we comply with the current law, and we are working towards updating these where there are changes under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. Eileen

  8. Comment by Suzy French posted on

    Do licensed waste carriers have to display their waste carrier registration number on their van/leaflets?

    • Replies to Suzy French>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good morning - licenced carriers do not have to display their registration number. All licences are displayed on the public register. ^Eileen

  9. Comment by Stuart McIntyre posted on

    Does the company name livery on the waste vehicle have to match exactly the company name/details on the license?


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