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 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:

   Finance    Waste Carriers
   Health and Safety    Waste Management
   Packaging Waste    Waste Minimisation
   Procurement    Waste Policy
   Shipment of Waste    WEEE


DCLG: Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2014-15: gives details of the provisional funding allocations for local authorities in 2014-15 and the illustrative settlement for 2015-16. It states that the average reduction in councils’ spending power is 2.9% (excluding the GLA) in 2014-15 and 1.8% (excluding the GLA) in 2015-16. The documents include:

The proposals are now out for consultation until 15 January 2014. (18 December 2013)
For details of the settlement, see the LGA's On the Day briefing paper.

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Health and Safety

HSE: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance (6th ed): revised guidance on controlling substances that are hazardous to the health of workers. The Code provides practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). The Code is not law but does have a special legal status: if its advice is followed in relevant circumstances dutyholders can be confident they are complying with the law. (3 December 2013)

HSE: Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Approved Code of Practice and guidance: this Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance consolidates five pieces of health and safety guidance to help employers more quickly and easily understand how to protect their workers from dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres. It provide practical advice on how to comply with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) that require the elimination or reduction of risk of fire and explosion from substances connected with work activities. (9 December 2013)

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Packaging Waste

DEFRA: Glass packaging recycling – Proposed changes to business target: seeks views on proposals to amend the glass recycling business target in the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 in light of new evidence which indicates that the glass waste arisings figures that the Government used to calculate the UK's achievement of the EU Packaging Directive target, and set the statutory business targets for 2013-2017, is some 350k tonnes too high. The consultation closes on 17 January 2014. (17 December 2013)

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Cabinet Office: Procurement Policy Note – New threshold levels for 2014: this PPN sets out the finalised threshold values to apply from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015. It also provides a summary of all the changes to threshold levels for public contracts, utilities contracts and defence and security contracts from January 2014. The levels are slightly lower than the 2012 figures, because of fluctuations in exchange rates - the threshold for local authority supplies and services contracts from 1 January 2014 is £172,514, and the works contracts threshold is £4,322,012. (16 December 2013)
See Bevan Brittan's alert: New procurement thresholds from 1 January 2014.

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Shipment of Waste

Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group: Exporting Opportunity? Putting UK waste to work at home and abroad: this  report makes clear recommendations for policy change designed to ensure the UK maximises value from its waste, at home and via export. The  research inquiry examines the current policy landscape in the UK in relation to waste exports, identifies key drivers and highlights areas of risk and opportunity for the waste industry. (4 December 2013)

European Commission: Public consultation on certification for waste treatment facilities: seeks views on a range of certification actions which could be undertaken in order to tackle the problem of waste shipments out of the EU to non-OECD countries if the waste is not treated in an environmentally sound manner. The results of the consultation will be used as one of the bases for formulating EU policy in this area. The consultation closes on 17 March 2014. (10 December 2013)

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Waste Carriers

DEFRA: Red Tape Challenge: Alternatives to waste transfer notes and other aspects of waste regulations: seeks views on proposals for greater flexibility in the way that information on the description of wastes may be completed as an alternative to the use of Waste Transfer Notes. It clarifies how registered waste carriers can show their ‘authority to carry waste’ when required to. It also recommends additional offences that the regulators can take into account when registering waste carriers, brokers and dealers. The consultation closes on 20 January 2014. (9 December 2013)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3113): these regulations, which mainly come into force on 1 January 2014, transpose the main provisions of the WEEE Directive 2012/19 by introducing a waste management system for WEEE in the UK. They revoke and replace SI 2006/3289. The WEEE system is intended to: minimise the disposal of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste by establishing a network of DCFs; ensure that all WEEE from private households that is collected at such DCFs is sent for treatment, recovery or recycling to an AATF or approved exporter, approved under these regulations; achieve the recovery targets set out in the Directive; and provide that producers of EEE are registered with the Member State authorities either directly or by appointing an authorised representative to act on their behalf and, are responsible for financing the costs of managing WEEE that arises from EEE in each compliance period. Obligations are imposed on distributors (i.e. retailers) in relation to the right of consumers to return certain pieces of WEEE to distributors free of charge. They also provide for a wider range of products to be covered by the Directive with effect from 1 January 2019. (7 December 2013)

WRAP: Switched onto value: this report looks at how extending appliance and consumer electronic product lifetimes and trading used products can benefit consumers, retailers, suppliers and the environment. It provides new evidence from consumer research, product design reviews and a study of the asset management market, quantifying the value associated with product re-sale and longer-life electrical appliances. It sets out the key  ways to change how we design, make, buy and dispose of electrical and electronic equipment and introduces WRAP’s Sustainable Electricals Action Plan which will help businesses to take advantage of these opportunities. (12 December 2013)

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Waste Management

DEFRA: Waste management plan for England: provides an analysis of the current waste management situation in England and fulfils the mandatory requirements of Art.28 of the revised Waste Framework Directive. It compiles existing waste management information and policies and, in particular, reflects the conclusions of the Government review of waste policy in 2011 and developments since the review was published. The plan does not introduce new policies or change the landscape of how waste is managed in England. Its core aim is to bring current waste management policies under the umbrella of one national plan. (12 December 2013)

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Waste Minimisation

DEFRA: Prevention is better than cure – The role of waste prevention in moving to a more resource efficient economy: this new Waste Prevention Programme for England sets out the key roles and actions which should be taken to move towards a more resource efficient economy, highighting ways in which businesses and householders can make savings by cutting waste, managing resources better and passing on items they no longer want for others to use. New initiatives include:

  • a new Sustainable Electrical Action Plan to encourage businesses to design products to last longer; 
  • a new £800,000 Community Partnership Fund to help local authorities, business and civil society organisations take action on waste prevention; 
  • a new postcode locator to help people find out where they can get things repaired or pass on things for others to buy;
  • research to explore the potential for savings in the NHS by reducing the amount of waste they produce, and making better use of equipment;
  • a 5p charge on single use plastic carrier bags;
  • development of a suite of metrics to help monitor progress on waste prevention, enabling consistent measurement of financial, environmental and social impacts, and levels of engagement .

The documents in this collection include a summary of existing activities, an evaluation of the measures set out in the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98, case studies of household waste prevention, and an overview of evidence which demonstrates the rationale for action. (11 December 2013)

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Waste Policy

DEFRA: EU Commission review of waste policy and legislation – UK Government response: sets out the Government’s response to a consultation run by the European Commission to inform a review of EU waste policy and legislation. The consultation asked for opinions from those interested on all areas of the current EU laws around waste. This response covers the Government’s position on many areas from preventing food waste through to recycling plastics and beyond; it summarises the Government’s view on the topics covered by the consultation but does not set out any new policies. The Commission will use the consultation responses to help them decide where to change the current laws and where and when to introduce new ones. Any new EU laws based on the Review are likely to be proposed by the European Commission in Spring 2014, and will still go through the full process of negotiation and scrutiny from Member State governments and the European Parliament. (3 December 2013)

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