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Green list wastes to come under close scrutiny

Green list wastes are set to come under close scrutiny with paper identified as the exported stream which causes most problems.

The revised UK Transfrontier Shipment of Waste regulations will be consulted on this month and it is believed the UK Management Plan on Exports and Imports of Waste may be consulted on at the same time by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is anticipated that there may be proposals to impose reporting requirements on those concerned with green list movements and there may also be proposed changes to enforcement and investigation powers given to the Environment Agency (EA).

EA policy advisor (producer responsibility) Adrian Harding said: There will be a change to waste shipment regulations and these should increase the controls on green list waste, streams such as paper, glass and metal.

At present, they can move under ordinary commercial controls and the rules are seen by some as a light touch as the risks are perceived as low. But with people commingling the stream and mis-describing, there needs to be more control as volumes ramp up.

With home capacity decreasing and countries such as China providing a huge market for materials such as steel, it is right these should move, but it has to be in a controlled way.
Between November 2004 and January 2006, the EA inspected 345 outbound containers and 128 inbound at 12 UK ports.

Problems were identified with over 40% of the outbound containers. The major offending stream was paper from municipal waste destined for countries such as China, India and the Philippines.

There was also one load of shredded fridges, one load of tyres, nine of waste electrical and electronic equipment and 11 consignments of end of life vehicles and parts which created issues.

Port inspections are funded by Grant-in-Aid and levels were reduced by £4.4 million in April this year and by a further £23.7 million in late July.  But extra powers to the EA will go some way in combating the problems related to exported waste.

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