A revised Duty of Care: Code of Practice has been published by the UK Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), which replaces the earlier version from March 1996.
As with the previous version, it sets out practical guidance on how waste duty of care (DoC) requirements can be met. The code of practice (the Code) is issued under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the EPA).
The Code applies to anyone that imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats, disposes of or, as a dealer or broker that has control of, certain waste in England or Wales.
The law requires anyone dealing with waste to keep it safe, to make sure it’s dealt with responsibly and only given to businesses authorised to take it.
Failure to comply with the duty of care is an offence subject to an unlimited fine on conviction. The Code is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings and its rules must be taken into account where relevant to questions raised in the case.
The code of practice looks at what it applies to and provides definitions of “Recovery”, “Preparing for re-use”, “Recycling” and “Disposal”.
It, also, explains what the Duty of Care does not apply to and exactly who needs to take note of it, including householders, as well as those working within the waste and resources industry.
It looks at the period that a “wasteholders” Duty of Care applies and their requirements, as well as setting out exactly what is deemed “illegal” when dealing with waste disposal and looks at how to prevent the escape of waste.
A copy of the Duty of Care can be obtained here