What are Waste Compliance and Waste Auditing Services?

20 January, 2021

Here at Imvelo Ltd, providing exceptional and bespoke waste, environmental, and sustainability solutions to a whole range of businesses in a variety of industries is the name of the game. Beyond solving tricky problems or delivering comprehensive strategies, we are also on a mission to educate, inform, and help increase staff participation and engagement in progressive internal change.

We support the Environment Agency and Chartered Institute of Waste Management’s ‘Right Waste, Right Place‘ campaign through our services to help you manage your responsibility!

To increase transparency, and help anyone who might be a little foggy on this service, we felt it necessary to answer the question ‘What are waste compliance and waste auditing services?’

What is your Waste Duty of Care?

The Waste Duty of Care relating to waste stipulates that any business that produces, imports, keeps, stores, brokers, transports, treats or disposes of the various types of waste must also take the steps required to guarantee that it is managed properly, ethically and legally. The Waste Duty of Care was introduced back in 1990 to protect public health and the environment, and a failure to follow its rules can result in an unlimited fine upon conviction, but we won’t let you get to that point.

Waste compliance means abiding by the rules of the Waste Duty of Care, meaning as a minimum you must:

  • Do everything you can to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste, in that order, as to keeps wastefulness to a minimum.
  • Store and sort your waste safely and securely.
  • Fill out a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves your facilities.
  • Take steps to ensure that the waste carrier you hire is lawfully registered to dispose of waste.
  • Not allow this waste carrier to dispose of your waste illegally, by means such as fly tipping.

As we mentioned, the above is the bare minimum, but to go one step further and increase your strength of commitment to compliance, you can also:

  •  Go through the waste chain, in both directions, finding out where your waste streams come from, and where they will go. This often requires transparency from waste carriers and material suppliers.
  • If you have specialist waste streams, you may require multiple waste carriers. Quite often, waste carriers have licenses and permits for a limited number of waste streams, so it is vital that you either find one company who can legally handle all of your waste, or divide the streams among different service providers.
  • Consistent compliance is what often catches businesses out, as they forget that the Duty of Care is recurring, and must be adhered to for every load of waste leaving the premises. Thoroughly vetting each waste management company you work with, or hiring a first-class environmental consultant from Imvelo Ltd, are the best ways to protect your interests.

What are waste auditing services?

The waste compliance procedures are all necessary, but without the paper trail to back them up, you could become liable. This is where waste auditing services come in, as they use the documents collected and compare them to the Duty of Care to ensure that you are compliant. The more frequently you do this, the better.

Regular audits allow you to produce documents that are consistent with the types and amounts of recyclable materials and waste that your premises generate, and how much of each is being recovered, recycled, or landfilled. For many businesses, waste can be a chore, we understand that, but worse than having to follow the rigours of your Duty of Care, is having to pay a potentially unlimited fine. At Imvelo Ltd, we follow your waste every step of the way, auditing it, and making sure that should an inspector request the documents, they are readily available and accurate.

Who needs waste compliance or waste auditing services?

Any waste producing commercial activity must follow the Duty of Care, and so for that reason, there is a huge scope to ‘who needs waste compliance or waste auditing services?’. Retailers, supermarkets, restaurants and train stations all need it, construction sites, farms, demolition sites and football stadiums all need it, so in truth, most businesses need it and must get it.

In some cases, often for businesses who produce huge amounts of waste and don’t want to outsource their waste management needs, such as construction sites, it’s quite common for them to pursue a Waste Carrier License so that they can handle and dispose of their own waste.*

*This must still be audited.

Households also have a Waste Duty of Care, while your local council manages your regular waste streams, you are still responbile for ensuring that ‘special wastes’ i.e. anything that the council won’t take, are still handed to licensed contractor!

Who (or what) doesn’t need waste compliance or waste auditing services?

There are a few exceptions, though they are uncommon, and if your waste falls under these categories, you almost certainly know about it already:

  • Wastewater
  • Decommissioned explosives
  • Radioactive waste
  • Animal by-products
  • Sewage
  • Sludge, or septic tank sludge

Feeling clearer?

Understanding your Waste Duty of Care is vital to avoid paying hefty fines, getting in trouble, and having to spend days in court instead of growing your business. Imvelo Ltd is here to support you, to transform what may seem like a daunting task into a smooth, helpful and stress-free endeavour. If, after reading this, you still have some confusion, please give us a call and let us rest your mind at ease.

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