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Knowing the relevant waste legislation will keep you on the right side of the law when disposing of it, says Jason Mohr.

Skip © iStock
Skip © iStock

07 May 2019 | Jason Mohr

One thing is certain in FM – regardless of whether you’re a service provider or an in-house team – you will generate waste. 

So how do you get rid of the waste from a job you’ve done at a property or facility?

You could hire a skip or use a licensed waste carrier, of course, but if doing it yourself, you need to know the law and best practice. 

Before we get any further, remember – don’t take chances. Carefully consider your operations, 

as operating outside of the 

law isn’t worth the risk. 

1 Get your licence 

You need a licence from the Environment Agency before removing waste from a property. If caught without being a registered waste carrier, you face a large fine and seizure of your vehicle. 

Action: Register as a waste carrier online for under £200. There’s no excuse.

2 Insure your vehicle 

Moving waste for third parties is unlikely to be covered by standard commercial vehicle insurance. So if you have an accident when moving waste, you may find your insurance does not cover you adequately. 

Action: Modify your vehicle insurance policy if required, but expect a hike in your premium, as there is a relatively higher incidence of vehicle accidents in the waste sector.

3 Document every waste transfer 

The law requires every waste transfer between trade parties to be recorded in writing, with the documentary record or waste transfer note (WTN) kept by both parties for two years.  

Note: ‘Transfer’ means passing of responsibility between two parties rather than physically moving waste from one location to another. The WTN is valid when it contains:  

  • The address, date and time of the transfer;
  • The names, addresses and signatures of both parties and their role (such as producer or carrier); 
  • A description of the waste with the relevant European Waste Catalogue codes, along with the quantity and/or weight, whether it is loose or contained; and
  • A statement confirming that the transferor has fulfilled their duty to apply the waste hierarchy as per by regulation 12 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, and the SIC code of the person transferring the waste. 

4 Where to dispose 

Deliver waste to a licensed disposal facility or to a place under your control for it to be stored securely and disposed of later.

If you decide to tip the waste, you have a duty of care to ensure that the facility you use is properly licensed to receive and process your waste. 

Warning: Disposal sites offering suspiciously cheap or even free disposal should obviously be avoided.

If you bring waste back to your depot to be stored temporarily (in a skip, say) for collection by a waste company at a later date, you will be subject to the Environment Agency exemption Non-Waste Framework Directive 3 – a narrow exemption designed to help builders and trades people manage waste efficiently

Non-Waste Framework Directive 3 

This narrow exemption requires that waste must:

  • come only from work you’ve carried out at a customer’s site; 
  • always be stored securely; 
  • not contain flammable and combustible materials and unbonded asbestos; and
  • not exceed 50 cubic metres.  

Action: Check your lease and property insurance allows you to store waste.

Two types of waste carrier licences

Upper and lower-tier, with the latter for moving your own waste only and it must not be construction or demolition waste.

Example: A carpet fitter or plumber removing their off-cuts of new carpet or pipes from a customer’s home. That normally covers most situations in FM. 

Action: Registering for a lower or upper-tier licence makes little financial difference so, if in doubt, register for upper tier.

Jason Mohr is CEO of bulky waste collection specialist AnyJunk