Waste Watch - November 2009

This Alert contains brief details of recent Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in municipal waste management, which have been published in November 2009. Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet.

30/11/2009

Nadeem Arshad

Nadeem Arshad

Partner

This Alert contains brief details of recent Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in municipal waste management, which have been published in the past month. 

Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet. All links are correct at the date of publication.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.

The following topics are covered in this update:

   Environmental Damage    Municipal Waste
   Environmental Information    Permitting and Licensing
   Environmental Policy    Procurement
   Hazardous Waste    Producer Responsibility
   Household Waste    Waste Management
   Landfill    Waste Minimisation

 

Environmental Damage

LACORS: A Memorandum of Understanding on partnership working under the Environmental Damage Regulations: the Environment Agency, Natural England, LACORS, the Marine and Fisheries Agency, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee have agreed a common policy on the enforcement of the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/153) and the equivalent Welsh regulations (SI 2009/195 (W.81)). (5 November 2009)

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Environmental Information

Information Commissioner: Decision notice – DEFRA (FER0272686): B requested information relating to a meeting that took place between Lord Hunt (DEFRA) and the Mayor of London where he believed that the air quality of London and the extension of the congestion charging zone were discussed. After a delay in providing a response the public authority refused to disclose the information, citing reg.12(4)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which states that internal communications within a public authority can be withheld. The decision was later upheld in the internal review. The Commissioner found that reg.12(4)(e) was not engaged and therefore the information was to be released within 35 working days. (2 November 2009) 

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Environmental Policy

Environment Agency: Creating a better place 2010 – 2015: this is the Agency’s corporate strategy for the next five years. It sets out its aims for the period to 2015 and describes its role in being part of the solution to the environmental challenges society faces, including: cleaning up rivers; defending more properties against flooding; reducing emissions, discharges and waste from industry; and tackling the causes and consequences of climate change. (10 November 2009)  

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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2861 (W.250)): these regulations, which came into force in Wales on 18 November 2009, make various amendments SI 2005/1806 (W.138) regarding the management of hazardous waste. (28 October 2009) 

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Household Waste

WRAP: Household food and drink waste in the UK: this report provides an updated estimate of the amounts and types of food and drink that people buy but don’t eat. It finds that in the UK people spend £12bn every year buying and then throwing away good food, and that throwing away food that could have been eaten is responsible for the equivalent of 20m tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. (9 November 2009) 

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Landfill

Twizell v Entrust [2009] EWCA Civ 1192 (CA): the Court of Appeal has ordered Entrust, the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the operation of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, to pay costs on an indemnity basis following its misconceived attempt to establish through the courts its powers to police and enforce what it conceived to be the obligations of an approved body as defined in the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996. The court held that the regulations made adequate provision for regulatory control and further powers of enforcement could only be acquired through primary or secondary legislation. (12 November 2009) 

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Municipal Waste

DEFRA: Municipal Waste Statistics 2008/09: sets out the finalised figures from DEFRA’s 2008/09 survey of municipal waste, based on data submitted by all local authorities to WasteDataFlow. The figures for the financial year 2008/09 show a further increase in recycling, a decrease in total municipal waste and a decrease in the amount sent to landfill. (5 November 2009)

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Permitting and Licensing

Draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2009: these draft regulations, which will come into force on 6 April 2010, amend SI 2007/3538 in order to improve and simplify the regulatory regime for low environmental risk waste recovery and disposal operations. Note that the Government intends to make consolidating Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 that will revoke and remake many of the provisions of the 2007 Regulations, as well as widen their scope. The 2010 Regulations are expected to be laid in early January 2010 and will come into force on 6 April 2010 immediately after this SI comes into force. The reason for laying this instrument and seeking its approval in advance of the 2010 Regulations is to ensure that Parliament has the opportunity to fully consider the provisions of this instrument and the specific amendments it makes to the regulation of low risk waste operations. (3 November 2009)

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Procurement

Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2992): these regulations, which come into force on 20 December 2009, amend SI 2006/5 so as to implement the new Remedies Directive 2007/66, which strengthens the legal review procedures that are available for breaches of the public procurement regime and increases the range of remedies available in all Member States. The main changes are:

  • a new penalty of ineffectiveness, which will enable the courts to strike down contracts that have been awarded in serious breach of the procurement rules;
  • two other new penalties, namely civil financial penalties and contract shortening, which a court can use as an alternative to ineffectiveness if it considers that there are important public interest reasons why the contract should continue;
  • automatic suspension of a contract award procedure whenever legal proceedings are started in respect of a contract award decision; and
  • procedural changes to the standstill period so that aggrieved bidders can seek remedies before the contract is awarded.

(12 November 2009)
Bevan Brittan has produced a Procurement Alert that sets out our top 10 questions and answers on the impact of these new procurement remedies rules.

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Producer Responsibility

DBIS: Revised Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations published today: announces that DBIS has published revised WEEE Regulations that help streamline the WEEE system and ensure producer compliance schemes continue to take an active role in the environmentally sound disposal of unwanted equipment. The amending regulations also aim to reduce the administrative burdens placed on the treatment sector.  The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2957) follow on from the December 2008 consultation, and come into force on 1 January 2010. DBIS will also be publishing new non-statutory guidance on the regulations. (6 November 2009)

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Waste Management 

European Commission: Waste management - Commission calls for better implementation of EU waste law by Member States: the EC has adopted two reports which reveal that EU waste law is being poorly implemented and enforced in many Member States. The assessment highlights the need for significant efforts by Member States to ensure that waste management meets the standards set by EU legislation. The reports show that implementation and enforcement of EU waste law remain poor particularly regarding the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98, the Landfill Directive 1999/31, and the Waste Shipment Regulation 1013/2006. In many cases, waste treatment infrastructure is missing and waste is not collected separately. This results in reuse, recycling and recovery targets for waste streams such as electrical and electronic equipment, end-of-life vehicles or packaging being missed. There are also a high number of cases of illegal shipments of waste. In some Member States which joined the EU after 2004, the situation is particularly problematic with heavy reliance on landfilling, inadequate waste treatment infrastructure and no societal habits to separate and recycle waste. The situation is not much better in many of the older Member States which continue to breach European rules of waste management and where inefficient diversion of biodegradable waste from landfills continues to contribute to climate change. (20 November 2009)
For details, see the Commission’s report on the Implementation of Community Waste Legislation - Period 2004 – 2006. A summary of the results for years 2006 and 2007 can be found in the Commission's Flash Report.

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Waste Minimisation

Welsh Assembly Government: Charge on single-use carrier bags to come into force by 2011: announces that WAG is working towards achieving implementation of a mandatory charge on single use carrier bags before the next election in 2011.  The draft regulatory package will be issued for consultation in Spring 2010. WAG will also work with large retailers to develop a voluntary agreement on the use to which the net receipts from a carrier bag charge will be put. Under this voluntary agreement, retailers will manage both the collection of the money and its distribution and net receipts will then be passed directly to environmental projects from retailers. (3 November 2009)

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