Waste carriers

Waste carriers

Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989

If you transport waste as part of a trade or business then you must be registered. Carrying waste without authorisation is an offence carrying an unlimited fine in the magistrates' court.

Note that authorisations for persons or companies transporting waste are issued by the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and not by local authorities. The national environmental agencies, local authorities and the police all enforce this law.

You can register as a waste carrier or renew your registration on the Government's pages here.

There is a two-tier registration system for waste carriers.


Upper tier waste carriers

You will need to be an upper tier carrier if you:

  • transport other people's waste, or

  • transport your own construction (which includes improvement, repair or alteration) or demolition waste.


Lower tier waste carriers

You must register as a lower tier carrier if you:

  • only carry waste you produced in the course of your own business unless it is construction or demolition waste

  • only transport animal by-products

  • only transport waste from mines, quarries or farms, or

  • you are charity or voluntary organisation, or a local authority.

If you are a lower tier waste carrier you may not offer a waste management service to others.


What else must you do

If you remove waste from businesses, you must record each collection and disposal (transfer). Once you have collected waste, just as with producers of waste, you have a duty of care to handle and dispose of it lawfully.

Waste carriers must be able to produce their authority to transport waste to a police officer, or to an officer from a local authority or the Environment Agency. Not having the required paperwork or not being able to produce it are criminal offences. You may be issued a notice to produce the documents at a police station or designated office. If you do not produce the required documents, a fixed penalty of £300 may be issued or you may be reported for prosecution.

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