Who is responsible for domestic waste?
Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA)1990, it states that the council (or where there is a two-tier structure ie the district council) must arrange for the collection of household waste in its area.
The only exception to this is waste: when the council feel it is situated at a place which is so isolated or inaccessible that the cost of collecting it would be unreasonably high, and/or which the council is satisfied that adequate arrangements for its disposal have been or can reasonably be expected to be made by a person who controls the waste.
The EPA 1990 also states that the public may be required to place their waste in the receptacles provided by the council (otherwise the local authority may refuse to collect it, or they can require householders to use specified containers by Order).
Who is responsible for business waste?
Councils can pick up business waste and can also prosecute for fly-tipping. However, businesses must take care to dispose of some particular waste, such as tyres, oil or batteries, carefully, recycling where possible, and not disposing of them amongst standard waste. Under the EPA 1990, s.34 and the Waste Management Duty of Care Code of Practice, any person creating waste has a legal responsibility to ensure that waste is kept safe, stored appropriately and disposed of properly.
The Environment Agency can prosecute businesses for fly-tipping their waste and can demand to see waste licence documents.
The law requires all businesses to keep their waste tidy and safe, and to pay for the disposal of their own waste. This means that, businesses must have a trade waste collection agreement with the Council or an authorised licensed waste carrier. Businesses are also required to keep records describing the type of waste you give to the person collecting it.
Waste should only be put out on the day of collection and in proper waste containers so it does not fall out, trade or commercial waste is not to be placed in litter bins.
These requirements are part of the Environment Protection Act 1990, which gives the Council the power to control refuse and litter. Businesses which fail to comply, can be served with a fixed penalty notice or be taken to court.