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Householders duty of care

What is the household duty of care?

The Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 introduced a new duty on householders on 21 November 2005. Under this duty, householders are required to take reasonable measures to ensure that household waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person. There is not a requirement for the householder to complete and retain a written description of the waste (the 'transfer' note).

The move aims to crack down on flytipping. This regulation ensures that householders are not excluded from normal Duty of Care waste obligations.

The household duty of care regulations are not there to 'scare people'. The regulations are an extra weapon in the armoury to eliminate fly-tipping. They are all about householders, working with their council to combat the blight of fly-tipping and make sure rubbish is dealt with properly and responsibly.

Every year, councils spend millions of pounds clearing up household rubbish that is dumped by people posing as legitimate waste carriers. If we cut the waste available to the fly-tippers, we cut out their business.

How do I get rid of my bulky waste?

All household waste can be disposed of at your local Household waste recycling centre free of charge.

We will also Collect large items from domestic premises.

What are considered to be 'reasonable measures' to comply with the duty of care?

It will be up to the courts to decide what constitutes reasonable measures, although householders are encouraged to make a simply check with the Environment Agency in order to ascertain if the person that they are passing their waste to is a registered waste carrier.

If you would like to dispose of waste and are considering using someone from the yellow pages, free newspaper, or any other classified publication - you will need to ensure that the person is a registered waste carrier, you are required to ensure that you know where the waste is being taken for disposal.

The attached web link will allow access to the waste carriers register set up by the Environment Agency.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with the household duty of care?

In keeping with Duty of Care regulations, it will become an offence for householders to pass on waste to an unauthorised person. A maximum fine of £5,000 may be imposed on prosecuted offenders.

If fly-tipped waste is traced back to a particular household, the householders could be fined up to £5000.

For further information on fines please see:

Please see our Waste Enforcement web page for further information.

Prosecutions Register

A public register of prosecutions is maintained detailing details of prosecutions and formal cautions issued in the last three years. Where serious offences arise or there is a history of non-compliance, consideration will be given to pursuing prosecution or formal caution. 

Before we undertake any criminal proceedings in court we have to ensure that the case is in the public interest to prosecute. We may instead offer alleged offenders the opportunity to formally admit their guilt and accept a formal caution.

Contact Details

  • Name Waste Care, Environmental Management
  • Address Directorate of the Urban Environment, Waste Care, Lister Road Depot, Lister Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY2 8JW
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345