Recent Recycling Legislation
The Red Tape Challenge
• water treatment and supply
• water quality
• flood and coastal erosion risk management
• inland waterways.
The main impact of this in relation to waste management will be in relation to water discharge permits. For example the Environment Agency will further develop its risk based approach to permitting, including the use of position statements to remove permitting requirements from certain categories of discharge such as dewatering of construction sites.
The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011
At the moment transporters of their own waste (excluding waste a s a result of constructionor demolition) do not have to register as a waste carrier. An example of such would be if a company transported waste on its own vehicle from a satelite site to its main site for baling. This will no longer apply in 2013 however as this practice is seen as providing an economic advanatge, under a recent European Court ruling, comapred to employing a registered waste contractor. This means that the comapny will have to register as a "lower tier" waste carrier with the Environment Agency. In addtion to this in this eaxample as the waste has come from another site the main site would also need to register the baling activity with the Environment Agency as an exempt activity. For more information on exemptions see http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/permitting/115492.aspx
As from September 2011 the regulations also require businesses to confirm that they have applied the waste management hierarchy when transferring waste, and include a declaration on their waste transfer note or consignment note.
The hierarchy sets out, in order of priority, the waste management options that should be considered:
- Waste prevention
- Preparing of waste for reuse
- Waste recycling
- Recovery, e.g. energy recovery at EfW
- Disposal at Landfill.
Whenever waste is passed on to someone else, the holder will have to declare on the waste transfer note, or consignment note for hazardous waste, that the waste management hierarchy has been applied. It must also include on the waste transfer note the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code of the holder transferring the waste.
The regulations implement the revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98, which sets requirements for the collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste and will therefore affect all waste producers. Theywill introduce a two-tier system for waste carrier, broker and dealer registration – upper tier and lower tier.
All organisations need to register as an upper tier carrier or broker if they carry, broker or deal in other people’s controlled waste, which includes commercial, industrial, household and hazardous waste, unless they are in one of the lower tier categories listed below. They also need to register as an upper tier carrier if they carry their own construction or demolition waste Upper tier registration lasts for three years, the same as waste carrier or broker registration currently. All such organisationswill continue to pay a fee to register or renew their registration. They will only need to register as a lower tier carrier if they only carry, broker or deal in animal by-products, waste from mines and quarries, or waste from agricultural premises, or are a Local Authority or a charity or voluntary organisation.
In summary as from December 2012 if you normally and regularly carry controlled waste produced by your own business, other than construction or demolition waste, then you will also have to register as a lower tier carrier. Registration as a lower tier carrier, broker or dealer is currently free and lasts indefinitely, unless the registration is revoked or withdrawn by the Environment Agency.
Controlled Waste Regulations 2011:
The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 were replaced with the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. The regulations are of interest to local authorities, managers of premises who currently pay a waste collection charge (such as prisons, hospitals and universities) and private waste contractors.
The main changes include:
· Giving councils the power to charge for the disposal and collection of waste from non-domestic properties
· Reclassifying waste from certain properties as commercial and not household waste
· Retaining local authorities’ discretion to decide when to charge depending on local circumstances and providing free disposal to charity shops and reuse organisations
· Retaining local authorities’ duty to collect waste from certain organisations for public health protection.
New powers for EA:
The Environment Agency in England and Wales started using new enforcement powers, called civil sanctions, from 4th January 2011. These can be used against a business committing certain environmental offences, as an alternative to prosecution and criminal penalties of fines and imprisonment. This means that they can take action that is proportionate to the offence and the offender, and reflect the fact that most offences committed by businesses are unintentional, whilst still being able to use criminal punishments for serious offences.
The government believes civil sanctions will make environmental law enforcement more flexible and effective for both regulators and businesses. The new civil sanctions the EA can use against a business committing certain environmental offences include:
Compliance notice - written notice to take steps to ensure that an offence does not continue or recur.
Restoration notice - written notice to restore harm caused by non-compliance.
Enforcement undertaking - voluntary agreement by business to take corrective action to make up for non-compliance.