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 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.