This Update 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:

   Commercial Waste    Packaging Waste
   Controlled Waste    Permitting and Licensing
   Enforcement     Wales
   Environmental Policy    Waste Management
   Judicial Review


Commercial Waste

DEFRA: Survey of commercial and industrial waste arisings 2010 – interim results: provide estimates of the amount of waste that businesses generate and how it is managed. The results show that industrial waste has declined while commercial waste has increased. Total commercial and industrial waste arisings in England were 55.8m tonnes. (10 November 2010)

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Controlled Waste

DEFRA: Review of the Controlled Waste Regulations: this consultation seeks views on proposals to replace the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/588), which DEFRA and WAG have found are causing many problems for local authorities and their customers because they are difficult to interpret and use out of date terminology. It was also felt that the Regulations distort the market by preventing local authorities from making a charge where they feel necessary for the disposal of waste from certain non-domestic properties. Any changes would affect all premises listed in Sch.2 to the Controlled Waste Regulations, including: self catering holiday accommodation/caravan parks; hospitals; schools/colleges; prisons; and care homes. The proposals only relate to charging powers for non-domestic ‘household waste’.  No changes are being proposed in respect of charging for waste arising from domestic properties.
The draft Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 will come into force on 6 April 2011, once finalised. The consultation closes on 14 January 2011. (8 November 2010)

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Environment Agency: Illegal waste criminal ordered to pay back six figure sum: reports that Preston Crown Court has used its powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to order Owen Baguley to pay back £116,101 earned through his illegal waste activity, after he pleaded guilty to eight offences under s.33(1)(a), (b) & (c) EPA 1990 for running illegal waste sites in and around the Blackpool area. Failure to pay this within six months will result in an automatic custodial sentence of two years and three months. (29 November 2010)

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Environmental Policy

DEFRA: Business Plan 2011-2015: sets out DEFRA’s timetable for meeting its policy commitments, based on its Structural Reform Plan priorities of: Support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production; Help to enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life; and Support a strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change. (8 November 2010)

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Judicial Review

MoJ: Cross-undertakings in damages in environmental judicial review claims: seeks views on proposed factors to be considered by a court when deciding if a cross-undertaking in damages should be given by an applicant seeking an interim injunction. It also seeks views on whether these factors should be set out in court rules or in guidance. This follows on from the Sullivan Report (May 2008) that considered the implications for the law in England and Wales of the Aarhus Convention and its requirement that participating States should make available a review procedure for environmental decisions which is "fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive". The Working Group concluded that the requirement that proceedings should not be prohibitively expensive also applies to applications for interim relief and meant that a cross-undertaking in damages should not generally be required in support of an interim injunction in environmental judicial review claims. The consultation closes on 24 February 2011. (24 November 2010)

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Packaging Waste

Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2849): these regulations, which came into force on 26 November 2010, amend the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/871) by including packaging waste recovery and recycling targets in the 2007 Regulations for 2011 and 2012, provisions to increase the transparency associated with revenue from Packaging Recovery Notes and a number of technical changes to improve the clarity of the Regulations. (25 November 2010)

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Permitting and Licensing

Environment Agency: How to comply with your environmental permit: revised guidance on permit conditions and the basic standards that standard permit holders will need to understand. The amendments include clarification of some of the guidance for water discharge and groundwater activities and more information on the risk assessments and monitoring of bioaerosols for compost facilities. (26 November 2010)

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Waste (Wales) Measure 2010: this Measure has been passed by the National Assembly and is awaiting Royal Approval. The Measure introduces legally-binding targets for the amount of municipal waste councils recycle or compost from 2012-2013, with a 2024-2025 target of 70%, with penalties imposed if local authorities fail to meet these targets. This means that Wales will be able to implement statutory targets for the rates of municipal waste recycled, as set out in Wales’ waste strategy Towards Zero Waste. It also gives Welsh Ministers powers to: 

  • introduce other statutory waste targets in the future in relation to the prevention, reduction, collection, management, treatment or disposal of waste; and impose penalties for noncompliance with such targets; 
  • require retailers to donate net profits from the sale of single-use carrier bags to environmental causes if a voluntary agreement with retailers is not successful; 
  • make regulations about a fees and charging scheme for site waste management plans for the construction and demolition sector; and 
  • introduce bans or restrictions on landfilling certain materials such as food waste, plastics and metals.

(2 November 2010)

Welsh Assembly Government: Municipal Waste Management Report for Wales, 2009-10: presents summary results from the 2009-10 Municipal Waste Management Report for Wales. It includes information about the amount of municipal waste collected from household and non-household sources and the levels of recycling in Wales. The key points are: 

  • the percentage of municipal waste (excluding abandoned vehicles) reused, recycled or composted in Wales has been continually increasing since 2000-01. In 2009-10 this percentage increased to slightly above 40% for the first time; 
  • the total amount of municipal waste (excluding abandoned vehicles) produced in Wales has continued to fall over the last 5 years, with less than 1.7m tonnes produced in 2009-10; and 
  • whilst landfill is still the main form of management of municipal waste, the use of landfill sites has decreased, with less than 1m tonnes sent to landfill in 2009-10.

(16 November 2010)

Welsh Assembly Government: Wales’ carrier bag charge becomes law: announces that the National Assembly has approved plans to introduce a charge for carrier bags.

The level of the carrier bag charge has been set at 5p because the Assembly Government believes this is high enough to encourage people to change their shopping habits but not so high that it will deter impulse shopping or place a significant burden on shoppers who have forgotten their reusable bags. The introduction of the charge has been delayed until 1 October 2011 in order to accommodate the needs of businesses and allow for a smoother and more successful introduction. For details, see the Welsh Assembly Government's response to the consultation. (30 November 2010)

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Waste Management

DEFRA:  Summary of responses to the Stage Two consultation on the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC): analyses the responses to the nine questions on the draft transposing regulations for England and Wales, and on the draft guidance on applying the waste hierarchy in accordance with Arts.4 & 15 of the revised WFD. The Government is considering the comments received in the consultation, and will lay the transposing Regulations before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales in January 2011. (30 November 2010)

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