Certificates and Regulations
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Environmental Protection Act 1990
Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
(Now Environmental Permitting)
In 1994, under the authority granted by this Act, a new waste licensing system was introduced to replace the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. The new system covers the depositing, recovery and disposal of all controlled wastes. The term 'controlled wastes' covers household, commercial and industrial wastes, either solid or liquid. There are certain exemptions from the need for a licence and most individuals, for example those disposing of their personal garden waste, would normally be exempted.
To hold a licence, applicants must demonstrate to the authority that they are a "fit and proper person". Some applicants, for example those wishing to run a new site, may also have to demonstrate "technical competence" by holding a Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (WAMITAB) certificate.
Section 34 of the Act imposes a new Duty of Care on persons who produce, import, carry, keep, treat or dispose of controlled wastes. Those subject to the Duty of Care must seek to:
- prevent the escape of waste
- ensure waste is only transferred to an "authorised person" or to a person for "authorised transport purposes" as described in the Act
- ensure, during transfer of waste, that a written description of the waste, sufficient to avoid committing an offence under the Act, accompanies the waste
- prevent persons disposing of, treating or storing controlled waste either without a licence, in breach of a licence condition or in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to health.
The Act also sets out the duties of Waste Regulation Authorities and Waste Collection Authorities. Under the Act, Waste Regulation Authorities are required to produce a Waste Management Plan and Waste Collection Authorities a Waste Recycling Plan.
Special Waste Regulations 1996
This updates the Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980 on defining special wastes in order to conform to EU legislation on hazardous wastes. The regulations also detail the consignment note system that requires waste to be accompanied by a note from the point of production to disposal.
Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
Until 15 July 2005, the Hazardous Waste Directive was transposed in England by the Special Waste Regulations 1996 (as amended). From 16 July the Directive is transposed by the Hazardous waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 and the List of Waste (England) Regulations.
While the Special Waste regime was in force in the UK, the European Commission revised its list of hazardous waste and incorporated it into the European Waste Catalogue. The revised list includes a number of waste streams not previously considered to be hazardous, including televisions, computer monitors, fluorescent lighting and end-of-life vehicles.
Defra consulted on new Hazardous Waste Regulations for England in July 2004, and the new Regulations based on the consultation responses come into force on 16 July 2005. The new regime includes a requirement for most producers of hazardous waste to notify their premises to the Environment Agency. The facility to notify premises has been available from April 2005.
Defra published interim guidance on premises notification in January 2005.
What is a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP)
New regulations coming into force in April 2008 mean that any construction project in England costing over £300k (be it for new build, maintenance, alteration or installation/removal of services such as sewerage, water) will need a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP).
More information from the NetRegs about the new rules:
The treatment of non-hazardous waste for landfill.
From 30 October 2007, landfills can no longer accept untreated waste. You should review how your business manages its waste and speak to us about this new requirement.
More information from the Environment Agency about the new rules that mean you can no longer send untreated waste to landfill:Fact sheet for general business on landfill rules (PDF)