A shake up of the waste exemptions and permitting system began today as the Government launched an industry consultation.
Permitting criteria have been re-evaluated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Environment Agency working together.
Environment Minister Joan Ruddock explained: "Environmental permits are an essential tool in protecting the environment from the impacts of waste, but the system must be fair, simple and proportionate to risk.
The changes we are proposing deliver all those things. Our estimate is that they will also offer real savings for some businesses, which could be as much as £45m over three years."
Proposals suggest most exempt businesses will remain entitled to operate without a permit but they may need to renew and reregister exemptions more frequently. However, some businesses that are currently exempt may now need a permit, while those with an environmental permit may be able to register an exemption.
Environment Agency acting chief executive Paul Leinster said: "Most of the waste exemptions currently available have been in place since 1994 with little or no amendment. To keep pace with the changing world of waste management and the new techniques that have been developed, we need a revised suite of exemptions.
"We need to hear the views of businesses which might be affected before we make changes to the system. We would encourage all businesses handling waste to look at the website to find out if their waste activity might be affected, and to participate in the consultation."
How might the proposals affect me?
A standard waste permit will be needed by businesses producing more than 500 tonnes of aggregates from inert waste.
The following wastes will need to register for an exemption for the first time:
On-farm anaerobic digestion for up to 1000 tonnes of manure and slurry is now a simple exemption because it is an environmentally sound disposal method.
The storage reuse or dismantling of up to 100 tonnes of footwear will become a simple exemption.
Image: Environment Minister Joan Ruddock