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 September 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:

   Animal By-Products   Producer Responsibility
   Construction Waste   Recycling
   Groundwater   Regulation
   Hazardous Waste   Waste Minimisation

Animal By-Products

DEFRA: Derogations from the Animal By-Product controls under Regulation (EC) 1069/2009 and Commission Regulation (EU) 142/2011 – Authorisations by the Secretary of State to enable derogations to be used in England: updated table of authorised exemptions from EU controls on the safe use and disposal of animal-by products to safeguard public and animal health. (11 September 2013)

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Construction Waste

DEFRA: Site waste management plans – Summary of responses: in June 2013, the Government consulted on the proposed repeal of the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008. This document summarises the responses received and sets out the Government's proposed course of action. Views were fairly split on the proposal to repeal. DEFRA notes that SWMP processes are now quite embedded within the construction industry and the majority of respondents indicated that they would continue to use SWMP in some form, as they have proved to be a cost efficient method of managing waste. The Government will therefore repeal the Regulations, as the impact of this action on the effort to reduce construction waste, keep it out of landfill and out of fly-tipping was minimal. Repealing the Regulations would provide a cost saving to business, while giving the option of retaining SWMP as a tool that can be applied to any project to help identify savings. (9 September 2013)

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Environment Agency: Groundwater protection – Principles and practice (GP3): this is the Environment Agency's fundamental guidance on all issues relating to groundwater protection. It covers the basics of what groundwater is, how it can become polluted and how the Agency protects it. It also includes detailed explanation of the legislation underpinning the Agency's groundwater protection work and its position regarding various activities which can impact on groundwater. (6 September 2013)

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Hazardous Waste

DBIS: Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Regulations 2012 – Government guidance notes for RoHS 2: updated guidance on the requirements of the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3032) that came into force on 2 January 2013, replacing the original Regulations that came into force on 1 February 2008. It explains the requirements on business, how to comply with the law and provides sources of further information. (6 September 2013)

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NI DoE: Consultation on the introduction of restrictions on the landfilling of food waste: seeks views on a proposal to ban separately collected food waste from landfill in Northern Ireland. It sets out the policy drivers behind the proposal and the evidence from recent research on the benefits of restricting such waste from landfill. It also details the contents of the draft legislation and how it affects food businesses, district councils, waste collectors/carriers and householders. The document identifies some of the practical issues that may arise from banning separately collected food waste from landfill such as the need for alternative waste management infrastructure, funding and enforcement. The consultation closes on 3 December 2013. (10 September 2013)

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Producer Responsibility

Packaging (Essential Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2212): these regulations, which come into force on 30 September 2013, amend SI 2003/1941 so as to implement Commission Directive 2013/2 which replaces Annex I of the Packaging Waste Directive 94/62 with a new Annex that adds more examples to the illustrative list of items considered to be packaging. (5 September 2013)

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LWARB: London Waste and Recycling Board announces £1.2 million funding to improve recycling in London: announces the launch of the new £1.2m Driving Up Performance Fund for 2013-15 to help London boroughs and Joint Waste Disposal Authorities put in place collection infrastructure to increase recycling in the capital. The money is available to improve or expand existing services or provide new household recycling in these areas: 

  • Recycling collections at the kerbside and in blocks of flats; 
  • Food and garden waste collections at kerbside and in flats; 
  • Recycling services provided at Household Waste and Recycling Centres; and 
  • Bulky waste re-use or recycling collections.

Funding will be allocated on a competitive basis through a single round. The closing date for applications is 4 November 2013. (4 September 2013)

WRAP: Collection and recycling of household plastic film packaging: guidance for  local authorities and other collectors on the challenges associated with collecting, sorting and recycling household plastic film. It includes background information on the material and quantities arising as waste in the UK, an overview of existing collection approaches and sections on the challenges and emerging opportunities associated with sorting, reprocessing and establishing UK markets for this material. (9 September 2013)

WRAP: Processing trials for household film waste – Summary report for demonstration trials assessing novel near-infrared sorting of household plastic film waste: research into issues associated with the sorting of plastic films in order to maximise the amount of materials diverted from landfill and to achieve recycling targets. It follows concerns that the majority of local authorities in the UK do not target plastic film as part of their collection scheme largely due to technical barriers and the added cost of collection. (9 September 2013)

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Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Documents and Information for Verification of Name and Address) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2276): under the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, a scrap metal dealer must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their full name and address by using documents, data or other information from a reliable and independent source. These regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2013, prescribe what documents or information are sufficient to do this. (11 September 2013)
For a summary of the new rules, see the Home Office's press release: Scrap metal laws to stop metal theft come into force.

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Waste Minimisation

DEFRA: Plastic bag charge set to benefit the environment: announces that the Government intends to introduce a mandatory 5p charge for single use carrier bags from Autumn 2015. Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be exempt from the charge. The charging scheme in England will follow the Welsh model in which retailers voluntarily give profits to charity.  The Government will also provide incentives for increasing the production of biodegradable bags, which would be exempt from the charge. (14 September 2013)

WRAP: The impact of Love Food Hate Waste: reports on an evaluation of the six month Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) campaign in West London, that was part of a larger, London wide LFHW campaign run by Recycle for London. Following the campaign, avoidable food waste decreased by 14% in just six months, potentially saving West London boroughs around £1.3m p.a. in disposal costs (including gate fees and landfill tax). (12 September 2013) 

FAO: Food wastage footprint – Impacts on natural resources: this study analyses the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity. It finds that each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and is responsible for adding 3.3bn tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere. It estimates that beyond the environmental impacts, the direct economic consequences to producers of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) amount to $750bn annually. (11 September 2013)

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