Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Waste brokers' responsibilities

Waste brokers' responsibilities

Waste brokers arrange for other businesses' controlled waste to be handled, transported, disposed of or recovered. Waste dealers buy waste from other businesses to sell on. This includes dealers who do not take physical possession of the waste.

Waste brokers include:

  • businesses that buy and sell scrap metal and other recoverable materials, eg if you operate from a yard or act as a trader arranging for materials to be bought and sold
  • businesses that arrange for waste disposal on behalf of another business or waste producer
  • waste disposal operators or carriers that arrange the disposal or recovery of waste not covered by their own licence.

A broker or dealer shares responsibility with the waste holders for managing the waste properly before and after it is transferred. Brokers and dealers are legally responsible for the proper handling and disposal of the waste.

Northern Ireland, check if you need to register as a waste broker or dealer

If you deal in waste or arrange for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, you usually need to register as a broker or dealer with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

However, you do not need to register if you are:

  • arranging for your own waste to be disposed of or recovered
  • arranging for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, and you are going to transport it as a registered waste carrier
  • arranging for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, and you are the operator of the authorised site where the waste is going
  • only dealing with animal by-product waste - including catering waste
  • only dealing with mining, quarrying or farming waste
  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a waste collection authority, waste disposal authority or waste regulation authority.

Any business can register as a waste broker or dealer including self-employed individuals, partnerships, companies and other types of organisation. You still need to register if brokering or dealing in waste is not your main business activity or if you only do it occasionally. If you broker or deal in waste but are not registered, the NIEA could take legal action against you.

Scotland, check if you need to register as a waste broker or dealer

If you deal in waste or arrange for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, you usually need to register as a broker or dealer with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Any business can register as a waste broker or dealer including self-employed individuals, partnerships, companies and other types of organisation. You still need to register if brokering or dealing in waste is not your main business activity or if you only do it occasionally. If you broker or deal in waste but are not registered, SEPA could take legal action against you.

If you arrange the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of controlled waste on behalf of another person, without ever taking possession of or storing the waste, you must register as a waste broker or dealer with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) or Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

To work out if you need to register see the page in this guide:Waste brokers or dealers - who needs to register.

In Northern Ireland

Registrations are valid for three years. You can apply for registration as a:

  • waste carrier and dealer
  • waste carrier and broker.

You can get application forms to register from NIEA.

If you are not sure whether you need to register, check with NIEA.

Contact your environmental regulator

DAERA: Waste carriers and brokers information

In Scotland

You can get application forms to register from SEPA.

If you are not sure whether you need to register, check with SEPA.

Contact your environmental regulator

SEPA: Waste carriers and brokers information

What you must do

Comply with the Duty of Care for Waste

As a dealer or broker of waste you jointly share a responsibility with the waste producer to ensure that you comply with the requirements of the Duty of Care. You have a legal responsibility to ensure that, where you produce waste, or where you broker waste, you;

  • apply the waste hierarchy
  • in Scotland, from 1 Jan 2014, ensure that recyclable materials are handled in a way that promotes high quality recycling
  • only pass your waste to those authorised to accept it
  • describe the waste accurately and compete a transfer note for any transfer of waste
  • store, transport and manage your waste without harming the environment.

DAERA: Waste Management Duty of Care - A Code of Practice

Scottish Government: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

Check if you need an a waste management licence to store waste

If you store other people's waste on your own site you must be authorised to do so by a waste management licence.

If you already have an a waste management licence, you do not need to register as a waste broker if you arrange for someone else's waste to be disposed of or stored on the site covered by the licence. If you arrange for someone else's waste to be sent to a site that is not covered by your licence, you must register as a waste broker.

For information on storing waste safely, see the page on storing waste correctly in our guideline: Duty of care - your waste responsibilities.

Check the register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Make sure all waste carriers, brokers and dealers you pass waste on to are registered or exempt.

NIEA: Contact Registration of Carriers team

SEPA: Who is registered?

Use waste transfer or consignment notes

Whenever you accept waste from someone, or pass waste to someone, you must ensure that the transfer is covered by a waste transfer note (WTN), or a hazardous waste consignment note. You must keep copies of waste transfer notes for two years and consignment notes for three years.

See the page on completing waste transfer notes in our guideline: Duty of care - your waste responsibilities.

Example of WTN for Scotland (page 62)

Example of WTN for Northern Ireland See Annex 2(page 52) Duty of Care- A Code of Practice

See the page on moving and transferring hazardous waste in our guideline: Hazardous/special waste.

You can get application forms to register as a carrier or broker from the NIEA or SEPA.

NIEA: Waste carrier information and application forms

SEPA: Waste carrier information and application forms

Good practice

Be aware of the nature of the waste you are dealing with and ensure that:

  • the waste producer uses appropriate containment or packaging for the waste
  • the waste is accurately described on the waste transfer note
  • only registered waste carriers, or waste carriers who have a registered exemption, move the waste

Return to Waste carriers, brokers and dealers landing page

Whats new on NetRegs

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    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms