Waste Brokers

Are you affected?

The Waste Framework Directive defines a broker as ‘any undertaking arranging the recovery or disposal of waste on behalf of others, including such brokers who do not take physical possession of the waste’ (Article 3 definitions).

Any business or person that arranges for someone else’s waste to be collected and disposed of or recycled MUST therefore be registered as a waste broker. If you are using someone to arrange collection of your waste who is not a registered waste carrier, then you must ensure they are a registered waste broker.

Under the new Waste (England and Wales) Regulations, there are now two tiers of Broker.

An Upper Tier broker is one that provides waste services professionally and who is not a lower tier broker. These must register every three years for a fee, shown below.

A lower tier Broker includes:

  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a waste collection authority
  • a waste disposal authority
  • a waste regulation authority
  • a broker who only arranges for the recovery or disposal of:
    • animal by-products
    • waste from a mine or quarry
    • waste from premises used for agriculture

These are required to only register once and registration is free.

The Environment Agency has produced comprehensive Guidance for Brokers and Waste Carriers.

What is required?

Brokers are registered by the Environment Agency in England and Wales, SEPA in Scotland, Natural Resource Wales in Wales and the NIEA in Northern Ireland (although this page does not mention Brokers, the form is for broker registration as well). The appropriate Agency will issue a certificate which is valid for 3 years. The registration number on this certificate must be shown on a waste transfer note. The forms are fairly lengthy and must be signed by someone who is authorised to sign in a limited company or all the partners in a partnership.


The fee’s vary between Agencies and are subject to change annually. As at 1 Jan 2015:

  Initial registration Renewal
England and Wales £154 £105
Scotland £162 £111
Northern Ireland £135 £69

How can I check if a broker is registered?

The Environment Agency operates an On-line Public Register where you can check to find a registered waste carrier or check the validity of someone claiming to be a registered Waste Carrier.

SEPA and NRW also have search facilities.

Further information

GOV.UK (for brokers and carriers)