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:

    Construction Waste    Litter and Fly-tipping
    Health and Safety    Producer Responsibility
    Landfill    Recycling

Construction Waste

Civil Engineering Contractors Association: Waste classification & permitting in construction – Guidance for the construction industry on the Waste Permitting Regime: this guidance, which is designed for anyone dealing with waste in construction, provides a single source of reference bringing together the various options under the Waste Permitting Regimes. The Appendix contains a number of Flowcharts that can be used to quickly identify whether the material in question is a waste or not and if it is, the options available to use or dispose of it. (6 February 2018)

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Health and Safety

ESA: Spotlight on health and safety – Contrasting performance in the waste and recycling industry: this report makes recommendations to raise health and safety standards across the whole of the waste sector and to spread best practice as widely as possible. (16 February 2018)

HSE: London Council and Veolia fined after worker crushed by reversing vehicle: reports that Southwark Crown Court has fined Croydon LBC £100,000 with costs of £10,843 after the authority pleaded guilty to breaching s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In addition, Veolia ES (UK) Ltd was fined £250,000 with costs of £11,360 for breaching s.3(1) of the 1974 Act. The prosecution arose following an incident when a council employee, working within Veolia's motor vehicle repair undertaking as a workshop cleaner, was struck by a reversing dust cart, suffering serious injuries. He was employed as a ‘supported employee’ due to his learning difficulties with a recognised need for heightened supervision. He was known to have a history of standing in the path of moving vehicles, an issue known to both duty holders which they failed to address adequately. The Council had relied upon an historical ‘agreement’ from 2003 whereby their previous waste contractor had agreed to supervise the workshop cleaner; however, Veolia did not recognise this ‘agreement’ nor did they require the services of the workshop cleaner but, nevertheless, the worker continued to operate within their workshop and had done since their contract began. The court found that both duty holders had failed to take into account the specific capabilities of the vulnerable worker and to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure his safety working within a high-risk environment. (31 January 2018)

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Landfill Disposals Tax (Tax Rates) (Wales) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/131 (W.33): these regulations specify the first standard rate, lower rate and unauthorised disposals rate for landfill disposals tax that will apply to a taxable disposal made on or after 1 April 2018. Part 2 of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Act 2017 sets out what constitutes a taxable disposal. The standard rate is £88.95, the lower rate is £2.80 and the unauthorised disposals rate is £133.45. (1 February 2018)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

DEFRA: Litter and littering in England 2016 to 2017: this publication explains the Government’s approach to understanding the extent of litter and littering in England, based on data from 2016 to 2017. (12 February 2018)

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Producer Responsibility

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee: Government dragging its feet tackling plastic waste: the Committee has criticised the Government for not adequately acting upon, or responding to, the Committee's recommendations on deposit return schemes and producer responsibility obligations. The Committee's report "Plastic bottles: Turning back the plastic tide" (December 2017) called on the Government to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic drinks bottles, and also to adopt a compliance fee structure that rewards design for recyclability and raises charges on packaging that is difficult to recycle. In its response to the report, the Government has indicated that a decision on a Deposit Return Scheme could be delayed until after the consultation on a tax on single-use plastics. It states that it will publish a new Resources and Waste Strategy this year which will set out its approach to reducing waste, promoting markets for secondary materials, incentivising producers to design better products and how to better manage materials at the end of life by targeting environmental impacts. (PDF 174 KB) (26 February 2018)

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/102): these regulations, which come into force on 1 March 2018, amend SI 2013/3113 that implements the WEEE Directive 2012/19. They substitute reg.34 of the 2013 Regulations to make new provision for the collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE deposited at designated collection facilities. They also insert a new reporting requirement into reg.35 relating to the amount of WEEE sent for treatment or for reuse outside the UK.  (31 January 2018)

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Welsh Government: Hannah Blythyn delivers £7.5m boost for recycling services: the Welsh Minister for Environment has underlined the Welsh Government’s ambition to become a zero waste nation by approving over £7.5m to help local authorities continue to improve recycling services. The funding will be administered under the Collaborative Change Programme (CCP), which provides specialist support to local authorities by awarding capital grants where local authorities want to change services to improve overall performance and to align services better with Welsh Government policies. (27 February 2018)

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