The new waste regulations coming into force on 29th September 2011 are going to make waste management a lot more complicated.
This change is enshrined in The Waste(England and Wales) Regulations 2011 which came into force on the 28th March 2011. As a producer of waste you will be required to “apply the new "Waste Hierarchy” before disposal.
Many people will be familiar with the principle of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, but now the EU insist on the less memorable
Prevention – Preparing for reuse- Recycling- Other recovery - Disposal
So what do you have to do to apply the hierarchy?
1. Know your waste
You must know the type of wastes you produce, the quantities, the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes and where it goes and what happens to it. You will also be required to implement a system to measure your waste output on an ongoing basis.
Ensure waste is segregated so that it is easier to recover value through the disposal chain.
3. Use the hierarchy
You should make efforts to move the management of the waste up the waste hierarchy. If it is currently landfilled, can it be recovered? If it is recovered, can it be recycled? And so on. If it is “reasonably possible” to do this then the regulations say that you must.
Keep records of all this activity for inspection by the Environment Agency. Failure to do this will likely result in a fine or prosecution. You will also have to sign a declaration on the Waste Transfer Note (or Consignment Note) that you have applied the waste hierarchy to each waste stream detailed on the note.
When do you have to do this by?
The regulations relating to application of the waste hierarchy apply to all waste transferred/consigned after 28th September 2011. You don’t have much time!