Right Waste Right Place: What Is Your Waste Duty Of Care?

The ‘right Waste, right Place’ Campaign  
In January Lara Ayris, Director of WPS spoke at the ‘right Waste, right Place: Duty of care in the construction sector’ event in London, and as ambassadors for this campaign we are very pleased to discover that lots of people are as passionate about this issue as we are. We hope that the campaign helps to improve knowledge and compliance around duty of care.

Are you aware of your duty of care? If you’re in the construction sector, we hope you’re well-versed in the importance of disposing of waste responsibly. But if you need a quick refresher, keep reading.

Who Is Responsible?

Duty of care states that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that their waste is disposed of correctly. This is not an issue that is unique to the construction waste industry  – even homeowners need to ensure that any skips they use have a carrier licence and that their waste will be going to a correctly permitted exempt facility. Though homeowners may not be aware of this, for those of us in construction it is an essential part of our everyday work.

The Practicalities of Duty of Care in the Construction Sector

The different contractors, sub-contractors, and types of waste involved in construction projects often means that duty of care can be very complex. Different types of waste – including hazardous and non-hazardous material – need to be disposed of separately, meaning many different skips and hauliers may be involved.

As we previously mentioned, all skips need to have their own carrier licences, and permits need to be in place at all times. Not only that, but different parts of a project (such as the demolition, groundwork, and construction phases), may be outsourced to different companies. The demolition contractor alone may use 10-15 different waste contractors, who will all need carrier licences and permits. A principle contractor may later take over and need to deal with their own waste management – and that’s all before we consider sub-contractors.

Because this can all be so complex, there is usually someone with a dedicated role for ensuring duty of care compliance. For some of our larger projects, there are so many hauliers and carriers involved, we can spend the majority of the time chasing licences.

Why Is Duty of Care Important?

It was reported very recently that fly-tipping in Britain has reached ‘crisis levels’. Back in 2015 it was reported that tax payers paid £50 million to deal with fly-tipping in 2014-15; meanwhile farmers and private landowners pay out of their own pockets to clean up the mess made on their land. However, if everyone adhered to their duty of care, there would be no fly-tipping and the environment would benefit greatly. This is why duty of care is so important.

If you would like some help to ensure you are compliant on your next project, contact us using the form on the right or call 01604 859961.

You can find out more about duty of care in our blog posts right Waste right Place and Are You Following the Revised Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice?

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