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Duty of care legislation provides protection for the environment and human health from waste materials.



You must classify the waste your business produces.

There is a code of practice you should follow issued under section 34(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in relation to the duty of care set out in Section 34(1) of that Act.

This code of practice applies to you if you produce, import, transport, store, treat, dispose of or, as a dealer or broker, have control of, certain waste in England or Wales.



As part of your waste duty of care you must classify the waste your business produces:

• before it is collected, disposed of or recovered

• to identify the controls that apply to the movement of the waste

• to complete waste documents and records

Failure to comply with the duty of care is an offence with no upper limit on the courts’ power to fine.

If your waste activities are authorised or registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland but you deal with waste in England or Wales, you need to follow the England and Wales code of practice. If you operate across borders, you need to follow Scotland’s and Northern Ireland’s codes of practice alongside the England and Wales one.


 • to identify suitably authorised waste management options

• to prevent harm to people and the environment. 

You should use this guidance if you produce, manage or regulate waste.


Use the List of Waste (LoW) codes



It’s illegal to mix a hazardous waste with any other waste.

European Waste Catalogue  – Use the code number from the List of Waste in the European Waste Catalogue to help describe your waste.




Separate different types or items of waste.

You must not mix:

• Hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste or non-hazardous materials

• different types (categories) of hazardous waste with each other

• waste oils with different characteristics

It is a legal requirement that this waste code is added in the relevant section of your waste transfer note so there can be no confusion as to what waste is being transferred.



If you do wish to mix hazardous waste, you must apply for an environmental permit and demonstrate that the mixing of these wastes is the best available technique.

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