All businesses and organisations as commercial waste producers must meet their Duty of Care requirements. 

What is a Duty of Care?

Under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, any business, a not-for-profit organisation, or public sector body has a legal requirement to store, present, and dispose of their waste in a responsible manner. This responsibility is referred to as a 'Duty of Care'. A full guide on the duties that must be complied with by anyone who produces, keeps, imports or manages controlled waste (household, industrial or commercial waste) in Scotland can be viewed in the Scottish Government's guidance document. See the Netregs page for more information.

What happens if I do not comply with my Duty of Care?

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 amendments to Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) set out three main offences applicable to waste producers under their Duty of Care requirements:

  • Failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure the separate collection and recycling of dry recyclable waste i.e., glass, metals, plastics, paper, or cardboard.
  • Failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure the separate collection and recycling of food waste produced by a food business in non-rural areas.*
  • From 1 January 2016: Failing to ensure that food waste is not deposited in a public drain or sewer, or in a drain or sewer that connects to a public drain or sewer in non-rural areas.

Any person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the duties imposed above shall be liable:

(a) On summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (£10,000)

(b) On conviction on indictment, to an unlimited fine.

Who enforces waste legislation?

Local Authorities and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are responsible for enforcing Duty of Care requirements. Both bodies are authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices on businesses or organisations that are in breach of these regulations.

Do I need a Waste Carriers License?

If you deal with the transportation of commercial, industrial, or household waste (including any waste from a house, shop, office, factory, or any other trade or business premises) as part of your business, you must register with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency

You must register if you are a sole trader, partnership, or company, even if you only deal with the waste occasionally.

If you transport the waste yourself, you are a waste carrier. If you arrange to have it carried, you are a waste broker.

If you don’t register, you could face a fine of up to £5,000.

You only need to register with one regulator for movement between England, Wales, and Scotland. 

How do I ensure I am compliant?

Ensure your waste contractor has issued your business or organisation with a Waste Transfer Note which outlines the type of waste you dispose of, the container(s) used to store this, and the frequency of your uplifts. You are required to keep this important document for 2 years as you may be asked to produce this as proof of responsible waste disposal.

If you are unsure whether your business or organisation is compliant with the Waste (Scotland) Regulations and your Duty of Care responsibilities, Stirling Council’s Commercial Waste Team can offer advice and provide a bespoke collection service that meets your business needs. Please call 01786 404040 or email if you wish to discuss this further. 

Last updated: Monday, December 13, 2021 3:02 PM