22 February, 2019

Council enforcement team reduces illegal disposal of business waste

The council is focusing on commercial properties and businesses across the district who are disposing their commercial waste illegally.

All businesses in Thanet are required by law to have an appropriate commercial waste disposal process in place. This means any waste these businesses produce must be disposed of in the correct way. Commercial waste should not be disposed via a weekly household waste collection, or at KCC household waste and recycling centres, and never in public bins. 

Businesses that use public litter bins or fly tip their commercial waste are breaking the law. Furthermore, this contributes to overflowing litter bins and subsequent street litter across our streets and open spaces. This has a negative impact on the environment and puts pressure on other council services.

To ensure commercial waste is being handled correctly, the council’s Enforcement team has been visiting businesses across Thanet to check that they have a correct waste disposal process in place and are following it appropriately.

There are a large number of businesses who are compliant with the law, however, so far in Thanet a total of 90 businesses have been sent trade waste notices for not being compliant. Two business owners have also been formally interviewed under caution. As a result of this proactive intervention, these 90 businesses are now disposing of their waste correctly and have a trade waste agreement in place.

Cllr Jason Savage, Cabinet Member for Operational Services, said:

“All businesses within Thanet have a responsibility to ensure that the waste that they produce is disposed of correctly. This is something that all businesses have a legal obligation to adhere to. The volume of waste that is produced across Thanet is staggering, so not only is this a good reminder to businesses about disposing of their waste correctly. In addition, it may prompt them to review the extent of waste they produce and to be more environmentally friendly.”

Since October 2018 over 1,500 businesses in Thanet have received a letter to remind them of their duty of care when it comes to disposing of their commercial waste. This letter was designed to help businesses understand their obligations to dispose of commercial waste correctly, as well as provide information on how to do so.

There are some simple steps for businesses to follow to make sure they get this right:

  • Know what waste you are producing – think about what you can recycle
  • Find the right waste contractor – are they legal, reliable, flexible?
  • Check your waste contractor’s credentials – ask to see their waste carriers licence
  • Get the right paperwork and keep hold of it – always get a copy of the waste transfer note from the person who takes your waste away. The duty of care in disposing of waste correctly is down to the producer of the waste- which means your business.

This enforcement action supports an ongoing campaign by the council to raise awareness amongst businesses in Thanet of their responsibility to dispose of their waste correctly. Any business, no matter how small, must have a commercial waste agreement in place or face a fine of up to £5,000. This includes:

  • garden maintenance
  • bed & breakfast/guests houses
  • online retailers
  • child minding services
  • home offices
  • hairdressers/barbers
  • sun tanning shops
  • cleaners
  • carers
  • other home based businesses

Any Thanet resident who suspects a business might be disposing of their waste incorrectly should contact our enforcement team on sse@thanet.gov.uk so they can investigate.

There are a number of local companies offering a commercial waste service across Thanet. The council also offers a service to businesses within the district. For more information on the council’s service please contact them on 01843 577900 or email commercialwaste@thanet.gov.uk.

More information on commercial waste and how it should be disposed of can be found at www.thanet.gov.uk/commercial-waste-service/.

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