Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
As a business, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that you produce, store, transport and dispose of your business waste without harming the environment. This is called your duty of care.
The duty of care has no time limit. You are specifically responsible for your waste from when you produce it until you have transferred it to an authorised person. However your duty does not end when you hand over the waste to the next holder. It extends along the entire chain of management of your waste. If you think that your waste is not being managed correctly you must take action to check and prevent this.
If a waste carrier takes your waste away, you need to check that they are authorised to accept it.
In Northern Ireland, if you ‘normally and regularly’ transport waste as part of your business, you must be registered as a waste carrier with the NIEA. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must register as an upper tier waste carrier. If you are not certain whether or not you should be registered NIEA can help you. NIEA provides guidance on what is meant by the term ‘normally and regularly’ in the glossary of the terms of the following Duty of Care code of practice.
In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier instead. You will soon be able to register online. If you need to register before the online service is available, download the application form.
If your business carries out work at private households any waste you produce is classed as business waste and this guidance will apply to this waste. This includes waste you collect when you deliver new items.
If you transport construction or demolition waste, or other people's waste you may need to register as a waste carrier, broker or dealer
If you use contactors who create waste on your site it is good practice to ensure that your contract clarifies who has responsibility for the waste.
If your business is home-based any waste you produce from your business activities is classed as business waste. You must keep it separate from your household waste and complete waste transfer notes when it is collected or disposed of. See the page in this guideline on completing waste transfer notes
The NIEA has produced a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
NIEA has produced a guide for farmers on how to manage farm waste.
NetRegs: Duty of Care e-learning tools: Scotland and Northern Ireland versions. Sign up to use the free interactive e-learning tools.
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