In England and Wales, the waste industry is regulated under the Environmental Permitting regime. Moreover, any business that treats, recovers or disposes of its own waste will either have to obtain a permit or, if appropriate, register the activity as an exemption. Householders are not expected to hold a permit or register an exemption for the disposal of household waste. However, as of January 2019 they incur a fixed penalty for fly-tipped waste.

All waste producers have a duty of care to ensure that their waste is disposed of or recovered by an authorised person, ie a contractor who holds an appropriate environmental permit. Businesses which merely store their own waste do not have to register an exemption or obtain a permit, provided the waste is stored for less than a year.

This topic explains how the waste regulation and permitting regime applies to everyone who produces, transports, treats or processes waste, or has responsibility for its final disposal.

Some of these duties may be carried out by contractors on behalf of the waste producer. The Duty of Care topic is particularly relevant to waste producers and carriers.

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