Waste – Duty of Care

Waste duty of care legislation aims to ensure that the management of controlled waste does not cause harm to the environment or human health. This covers household, commercial and industrial waste.

This falls under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 34. A breach of the duty of care could lead to an unlimited fine in the Magistrates or Crown Court if convicted. The code of practice (the Code) sets out practical guidance on how to meet your waste duty of care requirements.


It is your responsibility to ensure your household waste is disposed of correctly. Failure to do so can result in a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice, or if we have to prosecute the penalty can be up to £50,000.

We are unable to take large items of household waste such as furniture, electricals and white goods with your usual bin collections.

If you have larger items to dispose of please:

Use an authorised waste carrier

Ensure that you only use authorised waste disposal businesses when getting rid of your waste. This reduces the chance of your waste ending up in the hands of those who would fly-tip it.

Householders are responsible for:

  • Asking the waste carrier to provide you with their full address and telephone number.
  • Asking to see their waste carrier licence issued by the Environment Agency.

Use our bulky waste collection service

You can book a collection by phoning 01843 577115. Find out more at thanet.gov.uk/bulkywaste

Take items to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre

You can take your items to KCC’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres – booking is currently required.

Donate items to charity

Many local charities will take large items, furniture and white goods for free. Pop into your local charity shop or check online. They will also take a wide variety of small items too, and it all helps to raise money for good causes. Please don’t just leave items outside the shop when they are closed, as this is classed as fly-tipping. Speak
to the charities directly.

Do Not:

Put that extra bin bag next to your bin – There may be times you have an extra bag of rubbish that does not fit in your bin. If you leave it next to your bin outside your property, whether that’s in the alleyway or next to your bin on collection day, you could still face a fine.

Leave it out for the ‘scrap man’ – Traditionally, many people would leave scrap metal, like old barbecues, bikes, and washing machines, for the ‘scrap man’. You should never leave any waste like this, either on your drive or on the street. It could be removed by an unregistered waste carrier who could take bits from it, and dump the rest. Even if someone has a waste carrier permit issued by the Environment Agency. If they are collecting metal items to scrap they need to have a licence issued by the local authority to do so.

Leave your unwanted items out for others – Sometimes things we no longer need are in good condition, but you should donate these to your local charity shop and not leave them out for others to take.


Owning or running your own business means that you are responsible for disposing of any waste it produces in the correct way.

Commercial waste cannot be disposed of through household waste collections or at KCC household waste and recycling sites such as those in Margate or Sandwich.

As a business, regardless of size, you have a duty of care for all of your waste.

Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone who imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste, has a duty to take all reasonable steps to keep it safe.

This means that any waste produced by your business is regulated by law.

If you produce waste are required to:

  • Safely and securely store your waste
  • Regularly have your waste removed
  • Correctly and clearly label your waste for all movements
  • Hold copies of Waste Transfer Notes for two years
  • Hold copies of Hazardous Waste Consignment Notes for three years
  • Ensure your waste is moved by a company or person is a Registered Waste Carrier
  • Ensure you have a waste carriers’ licence if you move waste in your own vehicles
  • Ensure any on-site operations you conduct are compliant with the existing exemptions, permits and standard regulatory positions (permits, exemptions and licences must be in place where required)
  • Ensure all sites receiving your waste have the appropriate permits (Environmental Permit, Waste Management Licence or Exemption must be in place)
  • Demonstrate that the Waste Hierarchy has been taken into consideration when managing your waste

If your business waste is found to be illegally dumped anywhere, you could be prosecuted and on summary conviction, could face a fine of up to £50,000 or 5 Years in prisonment.
Reputable companies will prove they are licensed and provide you with a waste transfer note, detailing the type and quantity of waste removed.

Scrap Metal Dealers

There are two types of licence specified in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. You can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area, so you can only apply for a site licence or a mobile collector’s licence from the same council.

A scrap metal licence should be obtained along with the Waste carriers license issued from the Environment Agency. You must have a licence issued to carry out business as a scrap metal dealer (including motor salvage operators)

Site Licence

All the sites where a licensee carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer have to be identified and have a site manager. This licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collector’s Licence

This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the Thanet area. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence has to be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in. The licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site – to do so they will need a site licence from the relevant local authority.

  • Trading without a licence is a criminal offence
  • You could be fined £5,000 if you do not hold a licence.
  • We may revoke a licence at any time and close unlicensed sites.

Please view our licensing pages for more information



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