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:

   Duty of Care    Recycling
   Hazardous Waste    Procurement
   Landfill    Waste Management
   Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste Minimisation
   Permitting and Licensing

Duty of Care

DEFRA: The revised Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice: the Waste Duty of Care under s.34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires those dealing with certain kinds of waste to take all reasonable steps to keep it safe. It applies to anyone who is a holder of household, industrial and commercial waste. This paper seeks views on a draft Code of Practice that gives clear and practical guidance on fulfilling the legal duty of care obligations. It has been revised to reflect a number of important legislative changes relating to the duty of care since its publication in 1996. The consultation closes on 21 September 2015. (27 July 2015)

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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1417 (W. 141)): these regulations, which come into force on 20 July 2015, amend certain statutory instruments concerned with hazardous waste, which refer to the List of Wastes (Wales) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/1820 (W.148)) or to European Union enactments concerning hazardous waste, so as to implement various EU legislation. (26 June 2015)

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Landfill Tax (Amendment) (No.3) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1453): these regulations, which come into force on 2 July 2015, amend the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/1527) to update references to other secondary legislation. They reflect the fact that the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Fines) Order 2015 (SI 2015/845) has lapsed and was replaced by the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Fines) (No.2) Order 2015 (SI 2015/1385). (1 July 2015) 

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Litter and Fly-tipping

LGA: "Car litter louts" – New powers called for by Councils: the LGA is calling on the Government to close a legal loophole in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on road rubbish, to give local authorities the power to fine the owner of the vehicle, regardless of who threw the trash. As the law stands, councils must positively identify who has thrown the litter out of a car window, which is hugely difficult. (4 July 2015)

HC Library: Litter: this research briefing paper considers the financial cost of litter in England and Wales, and the penalties available under current legislation to the enforcing authorities. It also considers forthcoming legislation, and what the public and local groups can do to combat litter. (2 July 2015)

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Permitting and Licensing

Environment Agency: Standard Rules for the Environmental Permitting Regulations – Consultation No.12: Summary of consultation responses and decisions: sets out the Agency's decision in light of responses to the November 2014 consultation that set out a range of proposed new and amended rules and risk assessments. The proposals related to: asbestos waste transfer operations; a Fire Prevention Plan for sites storing combustible wastes; civic amenity sites and metal recycling facilities; amendments required by the introduction of the Industrial Emissions Directive; and changes to metal recycling and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) treatment activities. The revised rules will published this Autumn. (31 July 2015)

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CCS: Procurement Policy Note 12/15: Availability of procurement procedures (decision tree): this PPN  note contains a new Decision Tree and guidance on the choice of procurement procedure resulting from the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. It also sets out the general policy expectations on procurement that continue to apply. (30 July 2015)

CCS: Short form terms and conditions for goods and services: the Crown Commercial Service has published updated terms and conditions for general goods and services contracts with a value below the procurement thresholds set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. They are designed for small and medium size businesses to provide ‘light touch’ contract terms for low value procurements. (31 July 2015)

CMA: Unfair contract terms guidance: updated guidance to help businesses understand what makes terms and notices unfair, what risks they can face from using unfair wording and top tips on how to ensure terms and notices are fair and clear. The guidance has been revised to take into account changes to the law under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which will come into force in October 2015.
There is also a flowchart and a glossary of unfair contract terms. (31 July 2015)

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WRAP: Increasing recycling through local communications projects fund – Guidance: invites local authorities, retailers, charities, social enterprises and other organisations who can work in partnership to apply for funding to develop and deliver a communications-based campaign that will encourage and influence householders to recycle more. £30,000 to £50,000 is available per project. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2015. 

WRAP: Analysis of recycling performance and waste arisings in the UK 2012/13: gives local authorities and waste management companies information on what elements impact on recycling performances in the UK, to help plan effective recycling schemes. Drawing on WasteDataFlow data for 2012/13 and collection scheme data for the same year collated by WRAP, it identifies key factors that influence local authority recycling performance rates, and quantifies the degree to which these impact on those rates. (22 July 2015)

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Waste Management 

WRAP: Comparing the cost of alternative waste treatment options - Gate Fees report 2015: this report presents the median and range of gate fees for a variety of recycling and waste treatment options. It shows that fees remain relatively constant for most waste treatment and disposal options, with gate fees at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Energy from Waste facilities (EfW) differing the most from the previous annual assessment. (7 July 2015) 

Environment Agency: Regulating the waste industry – 2014 evidence summary: presents statistics on environmental performance, pollution incidents and illegal waste, updated with 2014 data. It covers the number of permits the Environment Agency issued to the waste industry, and the amount of waste that was recycled, reused or sent to landfill. It also gives details of environmental consequences including: the number of serious pollution incidents relating to the waste industry; the waste industry’s environmental performance; and facts about illegal waste. (13 July 2015)

DEFRA: Review into regulation and enforcement in waste sector launches: announces that the Government has launched a review into the regulatory and enforcement barriers to growth and innovation in the waste sector, as part of the Cutting Red Tape programme. The Review is calling for evidence on the impact of regulations across the industry, from production and processing to collection, disposal and treatment. The responses will be used to identify and remove barriers to advancing the sector whilst ensuring human health and the environment remain protected. (17 July 2015)

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Waste Minimisation

European Commission: Circular economy – MEPs call for “systemic change” to address resource scarcity: the European Parliament is urging the Commission to introduce legislation to help the EU to use natural resources more efficiently, with binding waste-reduction targets, revamped eco-design laws and measures to uncouple growth from resource use. Its resolution calls for new binding waste reduction targets by the end of 2015, as well as a gradual reduction of all landfill waste. (9 July 2015)

DEFRA: Single-use plastic carrier bags – Why we’re introducing the charge: this policy paper contains information for consumers and others about the 5p charge for single-use plastic carrier bags that is being introduced in England from 5 October 2015. (17 July 2015)

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