Waste – What’s your responsibility?

When it comes to your rubbish do you know what your responsibility is? You most probably know when it’s your day to put the bins out for collection and what goes into the recyclable and what goes into the non-recyclable but what about the more unusual waste. Old furniture, decorating waste, grass, and bushes after doing your gardening, old clothes, or unwanted items…most of these items aren’t able to go out with your usual rubbish for the bin men so what can you do? You could take your waste to your local recycling centre, but many people are choosing to use household waste clearance services like skips, skip bags or a man with a van. These services are convenient as they collect from your home, clear everything away for you and basically do the leg work on your behalf BUT what happens with the waste once it leaves you?

‘It’s not my problem anymore once they’ve taken it’.

‘I don’t care as once it’s gone; it’s gone!’

‘I’ve paid someone to take my rubbish so therefore it’s their problem.’


Even once waste has left your premises you need to know where it is going and how it is going to be disposed of because if you don’t, YOU could potentially be liable and prosecuted if it ends up as part of a fly tip.

This is why it is imperative that you know what is happening. When you are paying a company or person to dispose of your waste either by van, skip or any other means then that person or company should provide you with either a copy of their waste carrier licence or a notice to show that they take responsibility for your waste and what they intend to do with this. The reason for this is because if you let a person or company take your waste in good faith that they are going to dispose of it correctly and yet they fly-tip it then this waste could be tracked back to you as you were the point of origin. Regardless of if you paid for the disposable service and if you thought it was the right thing to do, if you do not have a copy of the waste carrier licence or a notice then you are liable and you could be prosecuted. Fly-tipping is illegal under The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and that could result in a fine of up to £50,000 and/or up to five years in prison. This is why it is so important that you do you research and make sure you have the right documents in place before letting your waste go. You, as a paying customer, are well within your rights to ask any waste manager company or persons to provide you with these documents and if they refuse or are unable to then we would suggest that you find another service provider.

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