Waste Watch - February 2012

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 February 2012.


Nadeem Arshad

Nadeem Arshad


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:

   Contaminated Land    Producer Responsibility
   Municipal Waste    Waste Collection
   Permitting and Licensing    Waste Shipment

Contaminated Land

Contaminated Land (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/263): these regulations, which come into force on 6 April 2012, amend SI 2006/1380 regarding the contaminated land regime under Part 2A EPA 1990. They streamline the appeals procedure against remediation notices and update the provisions on special sites to make clear that the existing (special site) protection afforded to particular controlled waters will continue to apply not only to descriptions of waters currently classified using s.82 of the Water Resources Act 1991, but also where such waters are now being classified as certain ‘protected areas’ under Annex IV of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60. (7 February 2012) 
Also, the Water Act 2003 (Commencement No. 11) Order 2012 (SI 2012/264 (C.8)) brings changes to the definition of contaminated land in Part 2A into force on 6 April 2012. The definition of “contaminated land” in s.78A EPA 1990 is amended so that, in relation to the pollution of controlled waters, for land to be determined as contaminated land, it must cause significant pollution or the significant possibility of such pollution of controlled waters.
DEFRA has laid draft new statutory guidance on Part 2A before Parliament and the approved text should be issued by 6 April. It includes a new four category test that clarifies when land does and does not need to be remediated.

There is also equivalent new legislation for Wales - see the Contaminated Land (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/283 (W.47)) and the Water Act 2003 (Commencement No. 3) (Wales) Order 2012 (SI 2012/284 (W.48) (C.8)). (7 February 2012)

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Municipal Waste

DEFRA: Local authority collected waste for England – quarterly statistics: DEFRA has published provisional quarterly estimates for 2011/12 of local authority collected waste generation and management for England and the regions, based on data submitted by all local authorities in England to WasteDataFlow. Final estimates for 2011/12 will be published in November 2012. The figures show that the proportion of household waste sent for recycling, composting or reuse between July 2010 – June 2011 in England was 42%, up from 41.5% in the financial year April 2010 and March 2011.  The generation of household waste continued to decrease between the financial year 2010/11 and the rolling year July 2010 to June 2011, with a 0.9% reduction to 23.2m tonnes; this continues the slowing in a reduction of household waste since 2007/08. (2 February 2012)

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Permitting and Licensing

DEFRA: Scrap merchants fuelling metal theft to be barred: announces that, in response to the rising incidence of metal theft, anyone convicted of any crime relating to metal theft is to be barred from working legitimately in the scrap business. From April 2012, the Environment Agency will take into consideration convictions linked with metal theft alongside other criteria when scrutinising all new applications for an environmental permit to run a scrap yard. The Agency will also assess subsequent convictions of existing permitted sites and may revoke the permit in certain circumstances. Also, the Government is considering proposals to amend the waste carrier legislation from April  2013, so that such convictions would also be used when scrutinising all new applications to register to transport any waste. Registered carriers subsequently convicted of a relevant offence could have their registration revoked.

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Producer Responsibility

Environment Agency: Producer responsibility - Independent audit reports for waste electrical and electronic equipment: updated guidance for approved authorised treatment facilities (AATFs) and approved exporters (AEs) of WEEE on the production of independent audit reports under the WEEE Regulations (SI 2006/3289). The aim of the report is to demonstrate that evidence of the re-use and treatment of WEEE has been issued correctly by AATFs and AEs, and that the recovery and recycling targets for each category of EEE have been met. Operators need to engage with an independent auditor to produce the IAR for them. (17 February 2012)

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Waste Collection

DCLG: Supporting weekly collections – Prospectus and bidding forms for applicants: DCLG has launched the Weekly Collection Support Scheme which will provide up to £250m to support local authorities in delivering weekly collections of household waste and recycling. DCLG states that the new fund will help support reward-schemes where families are rewarded for recycling; it also explicitly intends to tackle 'bin blight' and the proliferation of bins, by supporting new technology where possible. The fund will promote innovation, better procurement and joint working across local authorities, and is intended to support a range of local initiatives to increase recycling and deliver weekly collections. The fund is open to bids from English local authorities that wish to introduce, reinstate or retain weekly collections of household waste. Funding bids will be evaluated on how well they deliver a weekly collection service to residents, value for money and improved environmental benefit. The closing date for expressions of interest is 16 March 2012; outline bids must be made by 11 May and final bids by 17 August 2012.  (3 February 2012)

DEFRA: Amending the Waste Regulations 2011 on the separate collection of recycling: the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2012/988) transpose the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98. A judicial review is currently challenging the inclusion of co-mingled collection as a form of separate collection in reg.13 of the Regulations as being contrary to the Directive's aims and obligations to promote high quality recycling, and a failure to correctly transpose the Directive. This paper seeks views on proposals to amend reg.13 to ensure that the Regulations reflect DEFRA’s understanding of the Directive more clearly. The court has granted a six month stay of the JR proceedings to do this, until June 2012. DEFRA states that the proposed amendment does not represent any change in the existing policy position nor has there been any change in EU law; therefore it is only consulting on whether the drafting changes serve to better transpose the requirements of the revised Waste Framework Directive. An integral part of the Directive's requirements on the separate collection of recycling is the concept of what is technically, environmentally and economically practicable, and of appropriate quality standards. DEFRA will provide guidance on these issues. The draft Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 are set out in full at Annex A. The concepts of "technically, environmentally and economically practicable", and of "appropriate quality standards", are covered in Annex B. The consultation closes on 12 April 2012. (23 February 2012)

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Waste Shipment

Commission Regulation 135/2012 amending Regulation 1013/2006 on shipments of waste to include certain unclassified wastes in Annex IIIB thereto: this Regulation, which comes into force on 8 March 2012, amends the EC Waste Shipments Regulation 1013/2006 that regulates the import and export of waste. It inserts a new Annex IIIB listing wastes that are subject to lower level 'green list' controls. (16 February 2012)

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