Waste carriers licence: what you need to know

Waste Carriers Licence What You Need To Know In this article

As a trader you may need to dispose of the waste from a job and if as a business you carry any waste in a commercial capacity, then you need to have a waste carriers licence.

Without one, if you are stopped by a Local Authority Waste Enforcement Office or an Officer of Natural Resources England or Wales, then you may be liable to a Fixed Penalty Notice of £300 or fine of up to £5,000 if you have any waste on your vehicle and no licence to carry or transfer this waste from any job you have left.

In being registered, any person employed by you will be covered under the registration if they are acting for you during their employment. However, contractors, sub-contractors or agents of a registered person are not covered and so will need their own licence.

Find out what you need to know about registering for a Waste Carriers Licence.

Upper and Lower Tier Licences

There are two tiers to a waste carriers licence and you need to consider which one you fall under when you apply.

These are based on either your type of organisation or the type of waste you carry and not on the quantities of waste that you carry - so you may have to register in the upper tier even if you only transport or deal in very small amounts of waste.

A lower tier licence is free of charge and there is usually no need to register for this if you are a carrier who only transports waste produced by yourself (unless it is arising from construction or demolition works including preparatory work, improvement, repair or alteration).

However, if you find yourself carrying such things you have removed from the job such as sinks, baths, construction wastes such as walls, fences, wastes from house clearances, and so on, then you may be required to hold an upper tier licence (this is not a definitive list and you should contact Natural Resources if you have concerns).

If you do require an upper tier license this will cost £154 (*VAT exempt) for the first 3 years, with renewal for a further three years costing £105 (*VAT exempt).

To register you’ll need to provide the names and date of birth for the owners of the business, as well executives, partners or directors. You’ll also need to provide information about any environmental offences that have been committed and a method of payment (usually debit or credit card).

Once registered, your customers can then check your business has a waste carrier licence on the government’s website.

Make sure to keep records

A customer will either pay you or more commonly trust you to dispose of the waste correctly. In certain circumstances, you may be required to keep or have records of any Transfer Notes for waste that is taken away and disposed of.

This is a means of preventing fly tipping because in rural areas soil contaminating chemicals are dumped which are a danger to livestock and crops. In urban areas, discarded waste can attract vermin and spread disease.

If you don’t have your own licence but engage with a company to carry the waste from your jobs, then remember that either you or your customer may also be liable for fly tipping offences if your details are found within the waste and this is traced back. To help protect against this, we advise you to ensure that you keep all copies of paperwork in the contract and obtain copies of waste transfer documents proving you have passed this onto the waste carrier you are employing.

Also consider when you are disposing of any waste from a customers’ property that if this contains personal or sensitive information about the customer you may be classed as the controller of that information and so may be in breach of the General Data Protection Regulations if you do not control or dispose of this correctly - so consider if you should be disposing of this or whether this is for your customer to do.

If you require more information this can be found for England at www.gov.uk, for Northern Ireland at www.daera-ni.gov.uk, for Scotland at www.sepa.org.uk and for Wales at www.naturalresources.wales.