Recycling Centre

How to dispose of waste legally

If you are a resident or business you have a duty of care to make sure your waste isn’t dumped illegally, even if someone is getting rid of rubbish on your behalf.

  • There are a few things you can do if you can’t dispose of your waste in your regular rubbish or recycling collection service.
    • See if your local community recycling centre (CRC) can accept it. For full information on opening dates and times, and waste types accepted at each site, please check Surrey County Council’s website.
      • This service is mostly free but there are restrictions and charges for non-household waste and business waste. You can use a hired van to take bulky waste to a community recycling centre, but you will need to obtain a permit. You can apply for one online.
    • Check if your local authority offers bulky waste collection services (or business waste services). Please note you may be charged.
    • Use a commercial waste collection service. As well as there being a charge, you should check whether the business is an authorised waste carrier (for more information see the box below).
    • Donate to a reuse charity, or the Surrey Reuse Network.
    • Register your unwanted items on a free community exchange scheme such as Freecycle, Freegle or FreelyWheely.
  • There are some things you can do to help prevent fly-tipping.

    • Refuse unexpected offers to take away your waste. Also avoid traders who knock on doors or use unverified adverts eg contact through social media.
    • You must ensure you use a registered waste carrier. You can see if they are registered by looking on the Environment Agency’s public register or by calling 03708 506 506.
    • Ask your trader what will happen to your waste. Reputable waste carriers won’t be offended by reasonable questions.
    • Get a receipt or invoice including the waste carrier’s contact details, and keep this safe.
  • If you have concerns that a trader isn’t disposing of waste correctly there are two things you can do:

    • Call the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
    • Report your concerns anonymously to Crimestoppers online.

If your waste is fly-tipped and you haven’t taken reasonable steps to prevent this, you could receive a fine or penalty.

As a business you have a legal responsibility called a duty of care when disposing of your waste. You must:

You have extra responsibilities if you’re dealing with hazardous waste (GOV.UK).

There are penalties and fines for businesses whose waste is fly-tipped, it is important to know about your legal responsibility as being unaware of this isn’t a defence in court.