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Sticking to regulations will cut waste crime, industry told

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) have launched a duty of care (DOC) awareness campaign, as a waste business complains that regulations are “very complex”.

The ‘Right Waste Right Place’ campaign was announced at an RWM session to raise the profile of the DOC regulations across the sector, particularly targeted at small and medium-sized firms.

Environment Agency deputy director of illegals and waste Mat Crocker (pictured) said: “Criminals can operate their criminal model only if they can get hold of the waste. If everybody applied their DOC, then the waste crime problem would go away.”

But Suez UK technical development director Stuart Hayward-Higham said the DOC was “a very complex set of regulations”.

“We like to give all those customers a good kicking because they can’t be bothered to read the type of document that we can’t be bothered to read when we agree to mobile phone terms and conditions. I think that’s a bit unfair.”

Part of operators’ job is to make DOC easier to understand, ideally turning it into a ‘one page’ document, he said at the session.

Hayward-Higham said Suez had asked its commercial customers about their relationship with DOC and more than half did not have the six compliance services required by the regulations in England.

He said the main reason given for not complying was the difficulty in reading through the DOC regulations.

Paul Kelly, reputation management director at public relations firm PPS Group, said the campaign was essential because companies outside the waste industry did not understand DOC.

ESA chairman Peter Gerstrom chaired the panel session entitled ‘What happens to your waste?’, which CIWM president John Quinn also spoke at.

A Defra and Natural Resources Wales consultation on the DOC scheme closes on 21 September.

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