Information for tenants
This information explains what responsibilities you have as a tenant when it comes to safely storing and disposing of your waste.
Under environmental law, you have a legal duty of care to ensure your domestic waste is disposed of correctly.
This means you need to check that anyone you ask to take away your waste is permitted to dispose of it.
If you don't, you could be prosecuted.
It also means you could be held liable for any of your waste which is dumped illegally.
What to do you with your household waste
Most of the general waste you generate at home can be disposed of in your wheeled refuse bin (or sacks if you don't have a wheelie bin), in your recycling box or bag or in your garden waste bin (or sacks) if you pay for our garden waste collection service.
Don't forget to put everything outside your property (or use the communal bins) on your collection day. You'll need to store your bins/boxes/bags safely and securely for the rest of the week.
What to do with other waste or unwanted items
If you're replacing large items of furniture such as a sofa or bed, you'll need to think carefully about how you will dispose of anything you no longer need.
You could place a free advert on sites like www.freecycle.org or www.gumtree.com. Often, offering an item for free means you won't have the hassle of a trip to the tip. Instead, the new owner will collect the item from you and take it away.
We provide a bulky waste collection service. For a small fee, we will take away larger items such as fridges, beds, sofas, TVs and old electrical appliances.
Many retailers will take away old electrical items when you buy a new appliance. Usually there's nothing - or not much - to pay for the service. Check the retailer's website for details.
There are three household waste recycling centres in the district where you can dispose of many items for free. There are also smaller shoe, clothing and bottle banks across the district.
If you do decide to ask someone to take away waste, your legal duty of care means you must make sure the person, or company, is properly authorised to dispose of it. Ask to see their waste carriers' licence and get a receipt for all the items being collected.
The Environment Agency lists all authorised firms on its website.
It goes without saying that you shouldn't leave any type of waste outside your property, or in the street, for someone to take away. This would be classed as fly-tipping and you risk being prosecuted.
If you ignore your legal duty of care
If you don’t store or dispose of your waste properly, we can take action against you. This means we may:
- issue a warning notice and/or
- give you a £250 fixed penalty notice and/or
- take you to court
If the case does go to court, you could be fined as much as £5,000 and ordered to pay expensive legal costs. You'll also get a criminal record.