Legal requirements and waste offences

As a producer of waste your business has legal requirements


  • Duty of Care
  • Pre-treatment of waste
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Business related litter (food on the go and takeaway packaging)

Duty of Care

As a producer of waste, your business must comply with the Duty of Care legislation introduced in April 1992. You do not have to choose Colchester Borough Council to collect your recycling and waste although whoever collects and disposes of your recycling and waste must hold a valid waste carriers licence.

As a Colchester Borough Council recycling and waste customer, you must complete an annual Duty of Care form that you will receive alongside your invoice and return it to the Council.  You must also retain a copy of the Duty of Care form for at least two years as this includes proof that the Council is a registered waste carrier.  Failure to produce your Duty of Care certificate when requested could result in a £300 fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

If a business is found not to have this legal documentation in place they may be liable to a £300 fixed penalty notice or a £5000 fine on conviction or an unlimited fine on indictment.

Pre-treatment of waste

Under the pre-treatment regulations, your business is obliged to ensure that a proportion of your waste is 'treated' before disposal. This is done either by separating various wastes for recycling or sending it to a sorting facility.

For example, a business separating their paper and cardboard or glass for recycling from their other waste would be deemed to have satisfied the pre-treatment requirements.

Hazardous waste

The Council cannot collect waste of a hazardous nature that includes but is not limited to; clinical waste, electrical items, fluorescent tubes and solvents. You must ensure you sign an agreement with an organisation licensed to carry and dispose of such waste.  If you produce hazardous waste in volumes that exceed 500kg per year, you must register you business premises with the Environment Agency.

For more in depth and useful information regarding environmental legislation for businesses please visit the Environment Agency's website.

Business related litter (food on the go and takeaway packaging)

Colchester Borough Council is keen to work with all local businesses to ensure that litter generated as a result of your business in the Borough is kept to a minimum and that you are equipped to manage any litter generated as a result of your activities. We will contact you if there appears to be evidence to suggest this is the case.

If evidence can be ascertained that the commercial activities of certain businesses is leading to a detrimental effect on the local environment, CBC can take steps via street litter clearing/street litter control notices to address these issues. This may require a business to put measures in place to prevent this defacement and detriment from happening. If improvements are not made, a business may be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice or £2500 if convicted.

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