Waste—collection and disposal by local authorities
Produced in partnership with Dr Louise Smail

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Dr Louise Smail provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Waste—collection and disposal by local authorities
  • Duty to collect waste
  • Duties to dispose of waste
  • Household Waste and Recycling Centres
  • The repeal of section 1 of the Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978
  • Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC as amended in 2018
  • Circular Economy
  • Definition of waste
  • What does the WFD mean for local authorities?
  • Legally binding five step waste hierarchy
  • More...

Waste—collection and disposal by local authorities

Duty to collect waste

Subject to certain exceptions, waste collection authorities (WCAs) in England and Wales have a duty to arrange for the collection of household waste and, if requested of commercial waste and industrial waste. In relation to industrial waste, a WCA in England and Wales must not exercise this power except with the consent of the waste disposal authority (WDA) whose area includes the area of the WCA.

In England, a WCA is the Council of the district, except in Greater London where it is:

  1. for any London borough, the council of the borough

  2. for the City of London, the Common Council

  3. for the Temples, the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple and the Under Treasurer of the Middle Temple respectively

In Wales, a WCA is the council of the county or county borough.

WCAs are also under a duty to deliver for disposal all waste which is collected by the authority under section 45 to such places as the WDA for its area directs.

In England, a WDA is:

  1. for any non-metropolitan county in England, the county council

  2. in Greater London, the following:

    1. for the area of a London WDA, the authority constituted as the WDA for that area

    2. for the City of London, the Common Council

    3. for any other London borough, the council of the borough

  3. in the metropolitan county of

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