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The Waste Carriers Licence: All You Need To Know 

A Waste Carriers Licence allows you to move waste on public roads, but does your business need one?
 

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What is a Waste Carriers Licence?

Also known as a Waste Transfer Licence, a Waste Carriers Licence allows you or your business to carry waste on a public road. A licence is required by law and applies to any business that moves, buys, sells, or disposes of waste. 

If you have a Waste Carriers Licence, any person employed by you will be covered under the licence while they are acting under their employment. Private contractors or agents are not covered, however, and will need a licence of their own.

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Your Duty Of Care

According to law, your business, as well as every other business, has a legally enforceable duty of care over its waste. It applies to any businesses that produce, carry, keep or dispose of waste in  England and Wales. Essentially, if you're in control of the waste, you have a duty of care for it. 

The law is there to ensure that all waste is kept and disposed of in the safest way possible and with a minimum impact on the environment. The duty of care also applies to companies that handle waste on behalf of another company as a waste management company. 

When Does Your Duty Of Care End?

It doesn't. You have a responsibility for your waste even if you transfer possession of it to a waste management company. This may sound difficult, as you can't care for your waste if it no longer belongs to you, but it's fairly simple.

If you do choose to give your waste to another company to handle or dispose of, you need to make sure that they are legally allowed to carry it. For this, they need a Waste Carriers Licence; it's your responsibility to check they have one. You also need to check where the waste is being taken and that the plant in question can accept the type of waste concerned. 

Types Of Waste Carriers Licence

There are two types of Waste Carriers Licence; upper and lower tier. The type you will require depends on the type of waste you'll be carrying. It does not matter how much waste you're moving, just what type. 

Upper Tier

Required if you're transporting waste from other businesses and/or households, or if you're transporting construction or demolition waste.

Lower Tier

Required if you are transporting waste you have generated as a business. This doesn't include building or construction waste.

How Much Does A Waste Carriers Licence Cost?

Registering for a lower-tier Waste Carriers Licence is free. This is all you'll need if you're only going to be transporting waste you produce yourself and, if this is the case, you usually won't even need to register. 

Otherwise, a Waste Carriers Licence costs £154 (excluding VAT) for the first three years and £105 (excluding VAT) to renew for a further three years. 

When you register, you'll be asked to provide the names of the owners of the business, as well as executives, partners or directors. Once your registration is complete, your business will show as having a Waste Carriers Licence on the Government's website

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Commercial Waste Transfer Licence FAQs


A Waste Carriers Licence allows you or your business to carry waste on a public road. A licence is required by law and applies to any business that moves, buys, sells, or disposes of waste. 

If you have a Waste Carriers Licence, any person employed by you will be covered under the licence while they are acting under their employment.

There are two types of Waste Carriers Licence; upper and lower tier. The type you will require depends on the type of waste you'll be carrying. 

A lower-tier licence is free, and an upper-tier licence costs £154 (excluding VAT) for the first three years and £105 (excluding VAT) to renew for a further three years. 

The requirement for a licence applies to any business that moves, buys, sells, or disposes of waste. A lower-tier licence is required if you are transporting waste you have generated as a business. This doesn't include building or construction waste, this would require an upper-tier licence. 


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