The Board considered a report which set out details on householders legal “duty of care” to ensure they only give their waste to a licensed waste carrier and considered a proposed level of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for any failure by a householder to comply with their legal obligations.
Under the Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, householders were required to take reasonable measures to ensure that household waste produced on their property was passed onto an authorised person. An authorised person was defined in legislation but was usually a local authority or a registered waste carrier. It was noted that a householders legal duty was set out in the Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice issued by DEFRA. Failure to comply with the legal obligations was a criminal offence and the primary circumstances where a householder would be deemed to have done so:
· Where an individual passed waste to an unauthorised waste carrier; and
· Where fly-tipped waste was traced back to an individual who was found to have failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that they had transferred the waste to an authorised waste carrier.
The Board was advised that under new regulations introduced in November 2018, an FPN could be issued as an alternative to prosecution. The FPN allowed a more proportionate approach to prosecution for a duty of care offence. Members were requested to consider if the default penalty of £200 should be retained or whether an alternative level should be set within the limits set by legislation.
With regard to the level of discount for early payment of an FPN issued for a duty of care offence. Whilst considering the discount, the Board was advised that the FPNs for littering offences applied a 25% discount if the full amount was paid within 10 days.
It was also noted that information would be provided to advise householders of their duty of care obligations in a number of ways; including information leaflets, social media, Inside Halton and by placing information on the Council’s website. In addition, information would be provided to householders who were looking to use a private contractor or any other person to remove waste from their property to ensure they met their legal obligations by carrying out checks beforehand to establish that they were a genuine and reputable company or individual.
RESOLVED: That a report be presented to Executive Board recommending that the Fixed Penalty Notice for household waste ‘duty of care’ offences should be set at £200 with a 25% discount for early payment within 10 days of issue.