Householders duty of care

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Everyone has a "Duty of Care" to ensure that their waste is disposed of in a responsible manner or face fines of up to £5,000. If you give any waste to someone else, you must be sure they are authorised to take it and can transport it and recycle or dispose of it safely.

We have produced this leaflet so that all residents are aware of their responsibilities for legal disposal of their waste.

Download our Disposal Record Form which makes it easy for you to gather and record the information you will need in case we find any of your waste fly tipped

The Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care Regulations 2005 has led to better waste management and helped to reduce illegal waste activity such as fly-tipping. These regulations require all householders to take reasonable measures to ensure that household waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person.

Last year more than £44 million was spent by local authorities in clearing fly tipping. Much of this fly-tipping was bulky goods or household waste disposed of by illegal waste carriers after they had collected it from unsuspecting householders. The law makes householders responsible for checking who they give their waste to. Householders risk fines unless they are certain their rubbish will be removed by an authorised source, legally and safely - instead of being fly-tipped in a quiet street or footpath.

These household duty of care regulations are not there to "scare people". They are an extra weapon in the armoury to eliminate fly-tippers and fly-tipping. They are all about householders working with their council to combat the blight of fly-tipping and make sure rubbish is dealt with properly and responsibly.

Before allowing household, garden or building waste to be removed by somebody other than the Council, you are advised to:

  • ask the person removing the waste - such as a builder or "Man with a van" - where they are taking your waste and if they are a registered waste carrier. If they say "yes", you need to ask to see their certificate. If they are not registered, or cannot show you their certificate, you must refuse to use their service;
  • download our Disposal Record Form which makes it easy for you to gather and record the information you will need in case we find any of your waste fly tipped
  • check claims of registration by telephoning the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506 and request an Instant Waste Carrier Validation Check or go to the Environment Agency website;
  • in case they do fly-tip your waste and it is traced back to you - keep a note of their name, telephone number and vehicle registration number so you can pass this on to the local council;
  • report suspicious operators charging to take waste away, to either the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506 or the borough council on 01732 876147.

Most household waste can be disposed of free of charge at one of Kent County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres or by using one of the bulky good collection services operated by the borough council. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Waste Services Team.