Environmental Protection Act 1990

33 Prohibition on unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal etc. of waste.E+W

(1)Subject to [F1subsections (1A), (1B), (2) and (3) below] and, in relation to Scotland, to section 54 below, a person shall not—

(a)deposit controlled waste [F2or extractive waste], or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste [F2or extractive waste] to be deposited in or on any land unless [F3an environmental permit] authorising the deposit is in force and the deposit is in accordance with the licence;

[F4(b)submit controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be submitted, to any listed operation (other than an operation within subsection (1)(a)) that—

(i)is carried out in or on any land, or by means of any mobile plant, and

(ii)is not carried out under and in accordance with an environmental permit.]

(c)treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste [F5or extractive waste] in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

[F6(1A)Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) above do not apply in relation to a waste operation that is an exempt waste operation.

[F7(1B)Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the carrying on of any waste operation which is or forms part of an operation which—

(a)is the subject of a licence under Part 2 of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985; or

(b)by virtue of an order under section 7 of that Act, does not require such a licence;]]

[F8(2)Subject to subsection (2A) below, paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) above do not apply in relation to household waste from a domestic property which is treated, kept or disposed of within the curtilage of the property.

(2A)Subsection (2) above does not apply to the treatment, keeping or disposal of household waste by an establishment or undertaking.]

(3)Subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) above do not apply in cases prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State and the regulations may make different exceptions for different areas.

(4)The Secretary of State, in exercising his power under subsection (3) above, shall have regard in particular to the expediency of excluding from [F9the prohibitions in subsection (1)]

(a)any deposits which are small enough or of such a temporary nature that they may be so excluded;

(b)any means of treatment or disposal which are innocuous enough to be so excluded;

(c)cases for which adequate controls are provided by another enactment than this section.

(5)Where controlled waste is carried in and deposited from a motor vehicle, the person who controls or is in a position to control the use of the vehicle shall, for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) above, be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited whether or not he gave any instructions for this to be done.

(6)A person who contravenes subsection (1) above F10. . . commits an offence.

(7)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove—

(a)that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence; or

(b)F11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F12(c)that the acts alleged to constitute the contravention were done in an emergency in order to avoid danger to human health in a case where—

(i)he took all such steps as were reasonably practicable in the circumstances for minimising pollution of the environment and harm to human health; and

(ii)particulars of the acts were furnished to the waste regulation authority as soon as reasonably practicable after they were done.]

[F13(8)A person who commits an offence under this section is liable—

(a)[F14Subject to subsection (9) below,] on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding £50,000 or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine or both.]

[F15F16(9)A person (other than an establishment or undertaking) who commits a relevant offence shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; and

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(10)In this section, “relevant offence” means an offence under this section in respect of a contravention of subsection (1)(c) above consisting of the treatment, keeping or disposal within the curtillage of a domestic property of household waste from that property.

[F17(11)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) above, the deposit of waste in or on land includes any listed operation involving such a deposit.

(12)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above, treating, keeping or disposing of controlled waste includes submitting it to any listed operation.

(13)For the purposes of this section, a “listed operation” is an operation listed in Annex IIA or IIB of Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste]]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Amendments (Textual)

F2Words in s. 33(1) inserted (E.W.) (7.7.2009) by The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations (S.I. 2009/1799), reg. 28(1), {Sch. 2 para. 1(3)} (with reg. 28(2))

F5Words in s. 33(1) inserted (E.W.) (7.7.2009) by The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations (S.I. 2009/1799), reg. 28(1), {Sch. 2 para. 1(3)}

F13S. 33(8) substituted (E.W.) (7.6.2005) for s. 33(8)(9) by Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (c. 16), ss. 41(1), 108(4)(g) (with s. 41(2)(3))

F16By The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/894), regs. 1, 71 (with reg. 75), it is provided that in s. 33(9) the words "hazardous waste" shall be substituted (E.W.) (16.7.2005) for the words "special waste"

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 33 restricted (E.) (13.4.2001) by S.I. 2001/1478, reg. 3(b)

C8S. 33(6) restricted (27.7.1999) by 1999 c. 24, s. 4(7)(8)

Commencement Information

I2S. 33 not in force at Royal Assent, see s. 164(3); s. 33(3)(4) in force at 13.12.1991, s. 33(1)(c) in force at 1.4.1992 and s. 33(2)(6)-(9) in force for certain purposes at 1.4.1992 by S.I. 1991/2829, arts. 2, 4; s. 33 in force in so far as not already in force at 1.5.1994 save for purposes of application to activities specified in art. 2(2) of the commencing S.I. and otherwise in force in relation to those activities in accordance with art. 3 of the commencing S.I. by S.I. 1994/1096, arts. 2(2)(3), 3 (as amended by S.I. 1994/2487, art. 2 and S.I. 1994/3234, art. 2)

33 Prohibition on unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal etc. of waste.S

(1)Subject to subsection (2) [F18, (2B)] and (3) below and, in relation to Scotland, to section 54 below, a person shall not—

(a)deposit controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on any land unless a waste management licence authorising the deposit is in force and the deposit is in accordance with the licence;

(b)treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be treated, kept or disposed of—

(i)in or on any land, or

(ii)by means of any mobile plant,

except under and in accordance with a waste management licence;

(c)treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

[F19(2)Subject to subsection (2A) below, paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) above do not apply in relation to household waste from a domestic property which is treated, kept or disposed of within the curtilage of the dwelling.

(2A)Subsection (2) above does not extend to the treatment, keeping or disposal of household waste by an establishment or undertaking.]

[F20(2B)Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) above do not apply to the deposit or keeping of a waste portable battery or accumulator at a collection point set up to comply with Article 8(1)(a) of Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on batteries and accumulators (in this section, “the Batteries Directive”).

(2C)In subsection (2B) above, “portable battery or accumulator” has the meaning given by Article 3(3) of the Batteries Directive, but does not include any battery or accumulator excluded from the scope of that Directive by Article 2(2).]

(3)Subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) above do not apply in cases prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State and the regulations may make different exceptions for different areas.

(4)The Secretary of State, in exercising his power under subsection (3) above, shall have regard in particular to the expediency of excluding from the controls imposed by waste management licences—

(a)any deposits which are small enough or of such a temporary nature that they may be so excluded;

(b)any means of treatment or disposal which are innocuous enough to be so excluded;

(c)cases for which adequate controls are provided by another enactment than this section.

(5)Where controlled waste is carried in and deposited from a motor vehicle, the person who controls or is in a position to control the use of the vehicle shall, for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) above, be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited whether or not he gave any instructions for this to be done.

(6)A person who contravenes subsection (1) above or any condition of a waste management licence commits an offence.

(7)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove—

(a)that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence; or

(b)that he acted under instructions from his employer and neither knew nor had reason to suppose that the acts done by him constituted a contravention of subsection (1) above; or

[F21(c)that the acts alleged to constitute the contravention were done in an emergency in order to avoid danger to human health in a case where—

(i)he took all such steps as were reasonably practicable in the circumstances for minimising pollution of the environment and harm to human health; and

(ii)particulars of the acts were furnished to the waste regulation authority as soon as reasonably practicable after they were done.]

(8)Except in a case falling within subsection (9) [F22or (10)] below, a person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding [F23£40,000] or both; and

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

(9)A person who commits an offence under this section in relation to special waste [F24(other than household waste of the description specified in subsection (10) below)] shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding [F23£40,000] or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine or both.

[F25(10)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1)(c) above in relation to household waste from a domestic property within the curtilage of the dwelling shall be liable–

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

F18Words in s. 33(1) inserted (S.) (6.7.2009) by The Waste Batteries (Scotland) Regulations (S.S.I. 2009/247), {reg. 3(2)}

F20S. 33(2B)(2C) inserted (S.) (6.7.2009) by The Waste Batteries (Scotland) Regulations (S.S.I. 2009/247), {reg. 3(3)}

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C9S. 33 restricted (E.) (13.4.2001) by S.I. 2001/1478, reg. 3(b)

C11S. 33(1)(a)(b) excluded (1.5.1994) by S.I. 1994/1056, reg. 17

S. 33(1)(a)(b) modified (27.7.1999) by 1999 c. 24, s. 4(6)(8)

C13S. 33(6) restricted (27.7.1999) by 1999 c. 24, s. 4(7)(8)

Commencement Information

I3S. 33 not in force at Royal Assent, see s. 164(3); s. 33(3)(4) in force at 13.12.1991, s. 33(1)(c) in force at 1.4.1992 and s. 33(2)(6)-(9) in force for certain purposes at 1.4.1992 by S.I. 1991/2829, arts. 2, 4; s. 33 in force in so far as not already in force at 1.5.1994 save for purposes of application to activities specified in art. 2(2) of the commencing S.I. and otherwise in force in relation to those activities in accordance with art. 3 of the commencing S.I. by S.I. 1994/1096, arts. 2(2)(3), 3 (as amended by S.I. 1994/2487, art. 2 and S.I. 1994/3234, art. 2)