It's your duty of care

Published Thursday, 9th April 2020

Residents and businesses in Hartlepool are reminded that they have a legal duty of care to ensure that any company used to take away their waste – including household garden waste - is properly licensed with the Environment Agency.

The reminder has been issued by Hartlepool Borough Council along with advice on dealing with excess waste during the Coronavirus outbreak.

It is the responsibility of householders/businesses to be sure that a contractor is licensed before allowing any waste to be removed from their premises.

This follows an increase in complaints relating to fly-tipping and open burning of rubbish.

The authority recently took a decision not to re-start kerbside garden waste collections (brown bins) following the usual winter break to ease pressure on frontline services and to ensure that household non-recyclable waste and recycling collections (green and grey bins) can continue as normal.

It has also followed Government guidance on social isolation and - in line with other local authorities across the UK - has closed its Household Waste Recycling Centre in Burn Road, as driving to the site is not classified as essential travel.

Residents are asked to continue to place household non-recyclable and recyclable waste in the appropriate bins for collection, while other waste such as bulky items and DIY waste should be stored at home until waste disposal facilities re-open.

They are also being advised to consider home composting of garden waste, and subsidised composting bins, water butts and composting accessories can be ordered online for home delivery. Information on prices and offers is available at:

For residents who don’t have or want a container, it is recommended that they store their garden waste in a neat heap in the corner of their garden, remembering to keep turning it so it is aerated. They can also leave grass cuttings on their lawn where they will mulch down to provide key nutrients for the grass.

Further general information about home composting is available at:

In relation to open burning, the Council has issued following good bonfire guidelines:

  • Only burn dry, clean material such as branches or unpainted and untreated wood.
  • Never burn household waste or anything containing plastic, foam or paint.
  • Avoid lighting fires in unsuitable weather conditions.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Do not burn at frequent intervals.
  • Inform your neighbours if you plan to have a bonfire.

Residents are being warned that the Council does have enforcement powers under nuisance legislation to deal with fires that cause or are likely to cause excessive smoke or noxious fumes.