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There are many environmental and economic benefits to sustainable waste management, and there are a number of waste types governed by specific legislation. This means there is a legal requirement to store, transport, and treat these waste streams in particular ways. These laws aim to minimise the environmental impact of waste management services, reduce health and safety risk factors, and ensure that the waste hierarchy is taken into account at all stages of processing waste.

Cookham Waste & Recycling is fully compliant with all legislation, and we use our experience to guide our clients through the laws that impact their waste management and recycling needs. The most frequently relevant pieces of legislation are explained below.


The European Directive 1999/31/EC on the Landfill of Waste (Landfill Directive) was implemented in 2001 and regulates waste going to landfill within the European Union. The Landfill Directive aims to reduce reliance on landfill, decrease their environmental impacts and reduce the risk to human health.

The Landfill Directive sets minimum standards for the location, design, construction and operation of landfills. It also controls the nature of waste accepted for landfill by setting targets for the diversion of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) from landfill.

The Directive bans the following wastes from going to landfill, instead requiring they be recovered, recycled, or disposed of in other ways:

  • Liquid wastes
  • Explosive, corrosive or oxidising waste
  • Flammable waste
  • Hospital and other clinical waste which is infectious
  • Used tyres
  • Waste which does not meet the acceptance criteria of Annex II of the Landfill Directive

The Landfill Directive also created three different types of landfills that must only be used for their defined form of waste: hazardous waste landfills, non-hazardous waste landfills, and inert waste landfills.


Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, there is a legal responsibility (Duty of Care) to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to manage waste properly.

This Duty of Care applies to anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats, or disposes of waste – and also to anyone who acts as a broker and has control of waste. A breach of this Duty of Care can lead to an unlimited fine.

The Requirements

The Waste Duty of Care covers two sections: General and household waste.

The responsibilities for each of these waste types are detailed below.

General Waste Duty of Care

If you have waste that you need to dispose of, you are legally obliged to:

  • Ensure that your waste is collected by licensed individuals
  • Take steps to remain in control of your waste management
  • Store all waste safely and securely prior to disposal
  • Prevent environmental pollution or causing harm
  • Prepare waste transfer notes if passing your waste onto someone else

If you’re collecting and disposing of other people’s waste, you must:

  • Be authorised to collect waste
    Ensure that waste transfer notes are collected detailing types of waste collected and retained
    Household Waste Duty of Care

If you own a property, you are legally responsible to take reasonable actions to verify that your waste is collected by authorised personnel. Examples of these steps include:

  • Get a full address and telephone number from the waste carrier
  • Ask to see their waste carrier’s license – all authorised carriers will have one of these issued by the Environment Agency or Natural Resource Wales
  • Contact the Environment Agency directly on 08708 506 506

Cookham Waste & Recycling is a fully licensed waste carrier, with licenses and permits issued by the Environmental agency for all of our facilities – in addition to other accreditations. Additionally our custom-designed reporting software gives all our clients quick and easy access to all waste transfer notes and compliance documentation.

For further information about how Cookham Waste & Recycling can improve your business’s waste management, please get in touch.


If you have any questions regarding waste management legislation, do not hesitate to get in contact with Cookham Waste & Recycling and we’ll give you the answers.

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