Duty of care for business waste

Duty of care when transferring your business waste


Your duty of care for business waste does not end when waste leaves your premises or is handed over to a waste carrier. It may extend further down the waste chain depending upon the type of waste. Getting the waste transfer process right can save your business from problems and reduce environmental impacts.

Transfer business waste to the right person

You must ensure that any person or business you are transferring waste to, or who is organising waste transfers for you, are registered with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The simplest way to confirm this is to request a copy of their waste carrier's registration.

Be aware of any signs that a waste carrier may be dealing with your waste illegally, such as:

  • quoting unusually low prices for transferring your waste
  • they are unable to confirm to where and what type of facility your waste is going
  • they are unable to provide evidence of registration or transfer notes

Commercial waste collection services can also be arranged through your local district council.

Waste transfer notes

When waste transfers from one person to another, a waste transfer note (non-hazardous waste) and/or a consignment note (hazardous waste) must be completed, signed and kept by the parties involved.

The transfer note must include:

  • the quantity of waste transferred
  • how the waste has been packed (loose or in a container)
  • (if the waste is in a container) what kind of container
  • that the Waste Hierarchy has been applied

It's your duty to pass on all important information. This will ensure that the right treatment and storage is carried out further down the waste chain. This includes providing an adequate description of your waste.

There is no standard format for a waste transfer note - download an example waste transfer note to adapt and reuse (PDF, 65K).

Waste transfer notes must be kept for at least two years while consignment notes must be kept for three years.

Waste transfer season tickets

If your business transfers the same waste from the same place, using the same company to the same waste management site, then you can use a "season ticket". This must contain all the same information as a standard waste transfer note. It can be used for multiple transfers over 12 months, although a log should be kept of each transfer.

Duty of care when exporting waste

If you transport waste out of Northern Ireland to countries outside the UK, there are special controls and notifications which may apply.