Waste Watch – May 2016

Recent policy and legal developments developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management

01/06/2016

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:

  Enforcement    Recycling
  Health and Safety    Waste Collection
  Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste Management
  Municipal Waste  

Enforcement

Environment Agency: Somerset builder prosecuted for dumping and burning waste near Crewkerne: reports that, for the first time, the Environment Agency has obtained a Criminal Behaviour Order against a builder who dumped and burned illegal waste in a field. The Order stipulates that he must not collect, carry, transport or deposit any waste in the course of his or any other business; it also states that he must not use any vehicle to collect, carry, transport or deposit waste as a business. If the order is breached, he will risk a prison sentence of up to five years. (26 May 2016)

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Health and Safety

HSE: Worker crushed between two vehicles: Derby Crown Court has fined a waste management and plant hire company £300,000 plus costs of £50,737  after a worker was fatally crushed between two vehicles while refuelling. The HSE investigation found that there were no marked or identified vehicle and pedestrian routes. There were no rules or control of reversing manoeuvres, and the lighting at the site was poor and below the required standard. (31 May 2016)

HSE: Recycling company fined after worker was injured in machinery: Chester Crown Court has fined a recycling company £80,000 plus costs of £13,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he was dragged into an unguarded conveyor. The court heard how the conveyor was jamming frequently in the run up to the incident and there was a lack of information, instruction, training and supervision provided by the company to its employees. (26 May 2016)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

DEFRA: New penalties to crack down on fly-tipping: announces that local authorities now have greater powers to tackle waste crime by issuing fixed penalty notices of between £150 and £400 to those caught in the act of fly-tipping. (9 May 2016)

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Municipal Waste

Environmental Services Association: Public realm services – Making the right choice: Ensuring best value in local authority decision making: this report, prepared by Ricardo Energy & Environment, looks at current trends in public realm service delivery. It has been developed as an aid for local authorities when they are looking into service provision and procurement, to ensure that they can demonstrate ‘best value’, whether that be in-house or through a contractor. The report takes a high level look at the perceived trend for local authority in-sourcing, and gathers data and case studies about the decision making process and choices that local authorities make when deciding upon their approach to service delivery. It looks in particular at how authorities were determining that their approach was delivering best value, and what level of transparency was evident in their decision making. (3 May 2016)

WRAP: Comparing the cost of alternative waste treatment options – Gate Fees report 2016: summary of the ninth annual gate fees survey that covers gate fees charged to local authorities in the UK for a range of municipal waste recycling, recovery, treatment and disposal options. (26 May 2016)

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Recycling

HC Environmental Audit Committee: Treasury policy on meeting recycling targets further call for evidence: the Committee is calling for additional written evidence on HM Treasury’s contribution to meeting waste and recycling targets to help inform its inquiry into sustainability and HM Treasury. This follows on from its original call for evidence in December 2015. As one part of the inquiry, the Committee intends to examine the contribution of Treasury policy towards meeting national and local waste and recycling targets. (10 May 2016)

Environmental Services Association: Delivering sustainable growth – How the resource and waste management industry benefits people, the environment and the economy: this report sets out the industry’s achievements and ambitions of helping the UK move towards a circular economy, highlighting the social, environmental and economic benefits of the sector. It makes four recommendations to improve incentives along the supply chain, drive efficiency, lower costs - particularly to the local government sector - and deliver private investment, to ensure that recycling and landfill diversion rates do not go backwards:

  • Develop more resilient recovery markets for waste-derived products;
  • Introduce a new framework for producer responsibility which transfers resource ownership from local authorities to product supply chains;
  • Improve the efficiency of waste collection systems and infrastructure; and
  • Drive waste crime out of the sector.

(10 May 2016)

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Waste Collection

Renewable Energy Association: The real economic benefit of separate biowaste collections – A business case: this study, funded by Olleco and commissioned by the REA, examines the net costs of introducing measures to mandate source separation of food waste by councils and businesses. The aim of a mandatory requirement to separate biowaste would be to greatly increase the extent of separate collections in England, bringing both environmental and economic opportunities, and contributing to increasing the UK’s recycling rate. (26 May 2016)

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Waste Management 

DEFRA: Guidance on the legal definition of waste and its application – Decide if a material is waste or not: General guide (updated version of part 2): updated practical guide for businesses and other organisations on how to work out if waste rules apply to their material. It replaces Part 2 of the 2012 full guidance. (5 May 2016)
 
 
WRAP: Quantification of food surplus, waste and related materials in the supply chain: WRAP has published new research findings which reveal that over half of the food waste generated by the UK manufacturing and retail sectors is avoidable. The report aims to improve the understanding of food surplus and food waste in the grocery supply chain. It highlights that a combination of preventing food waste being generated, redistribution  of food surplus and diverting surplus to animal feed could lead to a 42% reduction in avoidable food waste, saving businesses millions of pounds a year. (17 May 2016)

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