How we enforce the responsibilities of businesses and residents to dispose of their waste properly
Business and commercial waste enforcement
All businesses are required by law to put in place measures to store and dispose of waste generated from their business.
Duty of care
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 all businesses have a duty of care for waste from their business. This duty of care requires the business to ensure:
- all waste is contained in suitable containers so it cannot escape
- secure waste against unauthorised removal
- waste is only transferred to an authorised person
- a written description and transfer note for the waste is obtained and retained for two years.
If a business does not comply with this legislation the local authority can serve a section 47 notice.
For a simple guide to duty of care, see the Duty of Care Compliance - Right Waste, Right Place website.
Section 47 notice
A section 47 notice is a legal notice issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. They are issued to businesses/traders who fail to comply with their duty of care. The notice has instructions on how to store, dispose and present your waste for collection. A section 47 notice can be served on a business or trader if:
- waste is not suitably contained or secured
- waste is passed to unauthorised persons
If this notice is not adhered to a fixed penalty notice for £80 will be issued by an authorised officer.
Fixed penalty notice
A fixed penalty notice of £80 is issued for a breach of the section 47 notice. Businesses and traders have 14 days to pay. If the fixed penalty notice is not paid we will commence legal action through the magistrates court. In court the maximum penalty is a £1000 fine with court costs.
Wheeled bins and recycling enforcement
The EU and central government require local authorities to meet targets for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and increase the amount of waste recycled.
To meet these targets we provide a fortnightly collection of household waste from wheeled bins and recycling boxes to the majority of houses in the Lancaster district.
The majority of residents have embraced this scheme. We now recycle over 40% of the waste generated in the district.
Legislation has been introduced to impose penalties, through fixed penalty notices and legal action, on residents who fail to participate correctly in the scheme. Enforcement is a last resort, before imposing any penalties on residents, they will be contacted, informed of the problem and encouraged to comply.
To help residents comply with the legislation the following points should be adhered to.
- Wheeled bins and recycling boxes cannot be stored on the public highway (pavement, road or alleyway).
- Wheeled bins and recycling boxes may be put out the night before collection but must be returned to your property within 24 hours after collection.
- Recyclable items must be separated and placed into the correct recycling boxes.
- Any additional waste must be taken to the household waste recycling centres at Salt Ayre, Lancaster or Keer Bridge Carnforth.
Section 46 notice
A section 46 notice is a legal notice issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. They are issued to residents who fail to comply with the wheeled bin and recycling scheme. The notice has instructions on how to store, dispose and present your waste for collection.
If this notice is not adhered to a fixed penalty notice for £60 will be issued by an authorised officer.
Fixed penalty notice
A £60 fixed penalty notice is issued for a breach in the requirements of the section 46 notice. If the fixed penalty notice is not paid we will commence legal action.
Why does the council enforce these offences?
- We are required to do so by the law.
- It keeps the streets clean and tidy which leads to a reduction in crime
- Increased participation in the wheeled bin and recycling scheme leads to an increase in recycling and reduction of waste sent to landfill
- Requests from residents and councillors
Last updated: 16 May 2023