Waste Watch - June 2013

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in June 2013.

01/07/2013

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in June 2013.

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:

   Construction Waste    Health and Safety
   Duty of Care    Infrastructure
   Enforcement    Packaging Waste
   Environmental Liability    Recycling
   Hazardous Waste

Construction Waste

DEFRA: Proposed repeal of construction Site Waste Management Plans regulations (2008): in 2012 DEFRA proposed  the repeal of the construction Site Waste Management Plans Regulations in response to the Government's Red Tape Challenge, which was designed to remove unnecessary legislation to free-up business. This consultation is intended to ensure it understands the implications of the proposed repeal. It seeks views on the proposal to on the impacts of repealing the regulations that have been identified in the impact assessment. The consultation closes on 16 July 2013. (18 June 2013)

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Duty of Care

Environment Agency: Waste operators welcome national online transfer system: all businesses in the UK have a legal duty of care to deal with waste responsibly, which includes completing a Waste Transfer Note (WTN) for each load of waste that is transported from one party to another. The Agency is devleoping  a free online system, edoc (electronic duty of care), that will provide a quick and easy alternative to the exchange of paper WTNs. The edoc system is due to be rolled out in January 2014.  72 per cent of large or medium-sized waste operators who were questioned said they were keen to use the new online system.(20 June 2013)

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Enforcement

NI DoE: Attwood moves decisively against serious waste criminality in Derry / Londonderry: announces that the NI Environment Minister has revoked the licence granted to the operator of a major waste facility in the North West following an unprecedented investigation into allegations of large scale criminal offending involving the disposal of waste. The notice was issued under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 and came into effect immediately. The waste management facility must now deliver all waste remaining to a legal landfill site for disposal within two months. The Environment Minister has also announced a number of measures to improve the investigation of waste crime in Northern Ireland, including a new Waste Crime Taskforce to co-ordinate and escalate work to address organised waste crime, in a comprehensive, unambiguous manner. (5 June 2013)

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Environmental Liability

Garner v Salford City Council [2013] EWHC 1573 (QB) (QBD): the court has dismissed a claim by a 45 year old woman, G, for damages for personal injury. G was diagnosed in 2011 as suffering from mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos dust. She contended that she was exposed to asbestos dust in the late 1970s, when the swimming baths next to her school were demolished. G argued that she could not recall any other time in her life when she might have been exposed to asbestos, so the dust from that demolition must have contained asbestos, and that was when she must have inhaled asbestos fibres which were to cause her mesothelioma decades later. She brought her claim against the Council, who were the owners of the swimming baths and commissioned their demolition, and the demolition contractors who carried out the demolition.
The court held that it was likely that some dust from the demolition had drifted into the playground; however, the chance of dust containing asbestos fibres being released into the atmosphere was minimal. Even if G had been in the playground when dust containing asbestos fibres drifted over, there was no certainty that the level of her exposure to them would have exceeded the relevant control limit at the time. Asbestos became very widely used in the UK in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the ambient air which many people were exposed to had more asbestos in it, and the risk of contracting mesothelioma from this kind of exposure increased. It could not be said with the degree of likelihood which the law required that there was no other possible source of G's exposure and that G was exposed to asbestos when the baths were demolished. (13 June 2013)

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Hazardous Waste

DEFRA: National Policy Statement for hazardous waste – A framework document for planning decisions on nationally significant hazardous waste infrastructure: sets out Government policy for the hazardous waste infrastructure, including the strategic need and justification of Government policy for the provision of such infrastructure. It will be used to guide decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate. The NPS provides a framework for the Secretary of State, but also provides guidance throughout for potential developers and in particular advises on what should be included in their assessment of the potential impacts of a particular project. (6 June 2013) 

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Health and Safety

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1471): these regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2013, simplify and clarify the requirements for informing enforcing authorities about serious work-related accidents and incidents (known as the RIDDOR regime). They implement the recommendations in Professor Löfstedt’s report 'Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation'. They revoke and replace SI 1995/3163. (20 June 2013)

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Infrastructure

 HM Treasury: Investing in Britain's Future: sets out the Government's plans for investment in infrastructure from 2015, including an additional £800m funding in 2015-16 for the Green Investment Bank (GIB), enabling it to invest in low carbon infrastructure projects including renewable energy, waste management and energy efficiency. (27 June 2013)

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Packaging Waste

Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2013: these draft regulations correct an error in the formula for calculating the glass re-melt recycling target for producers of glass packaging as set out in Sch.2 to SI 2007/871. (13 June 2013)

WRAP: Packaging optimisation for SMEs: this guide explains the numerous terms used regarding packaging optimisation, e.g. recyclability, recycled content, re-usability, returnable packaging systems, biodegradability, compostability. It helps businesses understand what all of these mean so they can choose the option that is right for them. (18 June 2013)
WRAP has also published six checklists to help organisations embed packaging optimisation into their business.

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Recycling

LGA: Wealth from waste – The LGA local waste review: explores how councils can develop the waste and recycling sector to unlock its true potential, generating thousands of jobs nationwide and expanding a vital revenue stream for council tax payers in a tight financial climate. It provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the waste sector, identifying the opportunities, risks and challenges for local government and outlines a number of key recommendations on how to promote a thriving, growing, domestic market for recyclable materials as well as looking at how to increase recycling and reuse to feed growth of the sector. Recommendations include: the Treasury refunding landfill tax receipts through councils and the Green Investment Bank to fund the building of new recycling centres; a call for new industry guidelines to improve the quality of recycled material produced and sold by the UK waste sector; and the introduction of reward schemes to thank residents for playing their part. (4 June 2013)

Environmental Services Association: Going for growth – A practical route to a circular economy: this report discusses the creation of a circular economy whereby, rather than being sent to waste after use, materials are reclaimed and reused or recycled as secondary raw materials, or converted into soil nutrients as compost and fertiliser, with any residual waste generating energy. It examines in detail the contribution that the waste and resource industry can make to a circular economy and provides ten recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders which will help bring it closer to reality. (11 June 2013)

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