With many builders unaware of the rules that govern the disposal of building waste, and falling foul of local councils as a result, Tristan Morris, principal advisor at TJD Legal, provides tradesmen with some advice.
What can be classed as hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste is the obvious asbestos to the more obscure ‘treated material’, including painted wood, pallets, treated brickwork, varnished wood, paint tins… anything that has been in contact or treated with chemicals. There is a special form and practise for dealing with hazardous waste.
Do I need a waste carrier licence?
If you carry waste of some description as part of your business then you need either an upper or lower tier waste carrier licence. This is obtained from the Environment Agency.
What is the waste transfer note/Consignment note?
The Waste Transfer Note (WTN) is a legal document that accompanies all controlled waste from source to disposal. These must be retained for a minimum of two years by all points in this chain.
The consignment note is similar but only applies to hazardous waste and must be kept for a minimum of three years.
The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 updated waste transfer note legislation making it a legal requirement to have certain details on them. Therefore, if the WTN doesn’t have this information it is simply a ‘piece of paper’.
Why is this important?
Local Authorities are seeking ways to reclaim money that has been cut by central government and a crackdown on waste laws is expected. With most offences covered by a fixed penalty notice the money goes straight into council coffers.
Therefore, it is important as responsible businesses to ensure you comply with the Duty of Care and prevent yourself falling foul of intricate waste legislation.
What are the consequences if I fail in duty of care?
The fines vary but most are covered by at least a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice. Further offences may result in an unlimited fine, vehicle seizure, ban from driving or even imprisonment.
How do I know if I am doing things correctly?
TJD Legal offers a consultation service with waste and duty of care to help minimise or eliminate the chances of falling foul of the legislation. For further enquiries go to www.tjdlegal.co.uk.
Tristan Morris is a principal advisor at TJD Legal with a background in waste enforcement and can often be found helping other tradespeople on the Builders Talk Group on Facebook and its sister pages.
For further information on TJD Legal click here.