Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Waste brokers or dealers - who needs to register


Waste brokers arrange for other businesses' controlled waste to be handled, transported, disposed of or recovered. Waste dealers buy waste from other businesses to sell on. This includes dealers who do not take physical possession of the waste.

Waste brokers include:

  • businesses that buy and sell scrap metal and other recoverable materials, eg if you operate from a yard or act as a trader arranging for materials to be bought and sold
  • businesses that arrange for waste disposal on behalf of another business or waste producer
  • waste disposal operators or carriers that arrange the disposal or recovery of waste not covered by their own licence

A broker or dealer shares responsibility with the waste holders for managing the waste properly before and after it is transferred. Brokers and dealers are legally responsible for the proper handling and disposal of the waste.

Do I need to register as a waste broker or dealer?

If you deal in waste or arrange for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, you usually need to register as a broker or dealer with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

However, you do not need to register if you are:

  • arranging for your own waste to be disposed of or recovered
  • arranging for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, and you are going to transport it as a registered waste carrier
  • arranging for someone else's waste to be disposed of or recovered, and you are the operator of the authorised site where the waste is going
  • only dealing with animal by-product waste - including catering waste
  • only dealing with mining, quarrying or farming waste
  • a charity or voluntary organisation
  • a waste collection authority, waste disposal authority or waste regulation authority

Any business can register as a waste broker or dealer including self-employed individuals, partnerships, companies and other types of organisation. You still need to register if brokering or dealing in waste is not your main business activity or if you only do it occasionally. If you broker or deal in waste but are not registered, NIEA could take legal action against you.