Waste Watch – January 2017

Legal and policy developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in municipal waste management

07/02/2017

This update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in municipal 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:

    Animal By-products    Food Waste
    Clinical Waste    Litter and Fly-tipping
    Duty of Care    Permitting and Licensing
    Enforcement    Recycling 

Animal By-products

DEFRA: Derogations from 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: EU Regulation 1069/2009 and Commission Regulation 142/2011 set down controls on the safe use and disposal of animal-by products to safeguard public and animal health but allow exemptions in certain circumstances. This updated table of authorisations shows which exemptions may be used in England and any conditions that operators need to follow. (24 January 2017)

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Clinical Waste

LGA: Clinical waste survey 2016: this survey gathered information about how local authorities were dealing with the collection and disposal of clinical waste. It was carried out in the context of NHS plans to re-tender its own clinical waste services which are likely to affect what it is willing to collect in the future, and hence also affect demand on clinical waste services provided by local authorities. The findings show that 76% of respondents currently collect clinical waste from residents’ homes. Around a half of those authorities currently collecting clinical waste from residents’ homes had contracted out the service, just over a third directly commissioned it, 4% used another council’s service, and 7% had another arrangement in place. Of those authorities currently collecting clinical waste from residents’ homes, only 5% charged for collection in 2015/16 and only one authority was able to provide a figure for income. Where authorities collected waste from places other than residents' homes (e.g. doctors' surgeries, clinics, pharmacies), most charged for it. (6 December 2016)

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Duty of Care

ESA: Duty of Care awareness campaign ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ set to expand into Wales and tackle misunderstandings over waste: announces that Natural Resources Wales has lent its support to Right Waste, Right Place, opening the campaign up to more businesses across the country. The waste awareness campaign will target small and medium-sized businesses and other organisations throughout Wales with information on their Duty of Care obligations. Also, Powys CC is the first Welsh council to have joined the campaign as an ambassador, raising awareness of the Duty of Care in the county, with many more organisations having expressed an interest in supporting the campaign. (18 January 2017)

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Enforcement

Houses of Parliament POSTnote: Environmental crime: this research briefing outlines the different types of environmental crime and options for tackling them. It identifies waste crime, which covers improper disposal of waste in breach of national or international law, as one of the primary categories of environmental crime in Europe. It highlights how measures to address environmental crime are under resourced in comparison to other types of crimes worldwide, and that preventing and prosecuting environmental crimes can be challenging – waste crimes allow money to be made with little risk of detection, as payment is taken before waste is improperly disposed of. This undercuts legal operations by legitimate waste disposal businesses. Sentencing and fines can be lower than the profit made. As these crimes can be committed by businesses, prosecutions may be complex. It also notes that it is currently unclear whether the UK will transpose relevant EU legislation into UK law after Brexit, or simply become a signatory of the related international treaties. (31 January 2017)

Environment Agency: Civil sanctions: lists cases where the Environment Agency has accepted a civil sanctions enforcement undertaking for environmental offences, as required by Art.14 of the Environmental Civil Sanctions (England) Order 2010. (31 January 2017)

Welsh Government: Fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping: seeks views on proposals to introduce regulations to allow enforcing authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping offences. Local authorities would be able to set the fixed penalty amount at between £150 - £400, and could retain the receipts to help pay for enforcement and the clear-up of fly-tipping. The consultation closes on 6 April 2017. (12 January 2017)

Daily Post: Gwynedd Council hit with £73,000 fine for waste 'negligence': reports that Llandudno Magistrates' Court has fined Gwynedd Council £73,400 after it pleaded guilty to breaching reg.38(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. The prosecution arose after types of waste not covered by the Council's permit were found at one of its depots. The district judge said there were “substantial deficiencies in the management system” at the depot . A skip hire firm that picked the waste up on behalf of the Council was fined £14,200 for breaching s.33(1)(a) & (c) and s.34(1)(c) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 after it deposited the waste on an unlicensed site. (23 December 2016)

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Food Waste

WRAP: The Courtauld Commitment 3 – Delivering Action on Waste (final report): the Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement between WRAP and grocery retailers, brands and suppliers to reduce household food waste, grocery product and packaging waste. This report looks at how the signatories  have helped deliver against three ambitious targets for the period between 2012 and 2015: to reduce food and packaging waste by 3% in manufacturing and retail; to improve packaging design and recyclability in the grocery supply chain without increasing the carbon impact; and to reduce household food and drink waste by 5%. It finds that: over £100m business savings were delivered by reducing food waste; product and packaging waste reduced by 3%; the recovery and recycling rate grew from 95% in 2012 to 99% in 2015; and there was a 7% reduction in carbon impact of food and drink packaging. Also, there was a notable increase in surplus food and drink redistributed for human consumption. (10 January 2017)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

ITV News: Fly-tipper caught dumping tonnes of household waste is jailed for 12 months: reports that Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court has sentenced a serial fly-tipper to 12 months' imprisonment after he was caught three times on CCTV tipping cookers, scraps of wood, tiles, rubble and even the base of a bed in an alleyway behind houses in Croydon. George Smith was found guilty of four offences of fly-tipping in breach of s.33 EPA 1990; he was also forbidden from holding a waste carrier's licence for 10 years and his two vans were confiscated. (26 January 2017)

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Permitting and Licensing

Environment Agency: Standard rules – Environmental permitting: Recovery or use of waste on land: the EA has published updated rules governing the spreading of waste in England.   The new Statutory Rules are: 2010/4 (mobile plant for land-spreading); 2010/5 (mobile plant for reclamation, restoration or improvement of land); 2010/6 (mobile plant for land-spreading of sewage sludge); and 2010/17 (storage of digestate from anaerobic digestion plants). (6 January 2017)

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Recycling

RECOUP: New consumer insight points the way for reducing plastic recycling confusion: summary of research carried out by the national plastics recycling initiative Pledge 4 Plastics into consumer attitudes and behaviour towards plastics packaging recycling. (18 January 2017)

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