Views sought on revised Duty of Care guidance

Posted on 3rd August, 2015

Revised guidance on how to comply with the waste Duty of Care has been launched for consultation by the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Welsh Government.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone who handles household, commercial or industrial waste (known as ‘controlled waste’) has a ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure it is managed in a responsible way.

The new, 13-page Code of Practice is shorter than previous guidance and is part of the government’s efforts to make guidance ‘smarter’.

business wasteThe revision was carried out to take account of changes to legislation and policy, including the introduction of the five-stage legally-binding Waste Hierarchy and the emergence of the Electronic Duty of Care system for producing waste transfer notes electronically.

Writing in a letter to consultees, Defra’s waste regulation and crime team said: “The purpose of the Code of Practice is to give simple, clear and practical guidance on what those who import, produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste have to do to fulfil their legal duty of care obligations. The current Code of Practice does not reflect a number of important legislative changes relating to the duty of care that have been introduced since its publication in 1996.”

The letter concludes: “Through this consultation, we invite your views and comments on whether the revised duty of care Code of Practice offers clear fit for purpose and practical guidance to holders of waste.”

The consultation runs until Monday, 21 September 2015.