The cost of disposing of hazardous waste will triple in just two weeks time, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.
The Landfill Directive makes it illegal to dump hazardous waste in the same landfill site as non-hazardous waste from July 16. With EC requirements for hazardous waste sites not coming into force until 2005, the number of locations accepting such refuse is expected to drop from 240 to 15.
So the EA has written to waste carriers in England and Wales urging them to prepare for a £350 million increase in the annual cost of hazardous waste disposal. The EA letter urges waste carriers to:
l Budget for rising costs for the treatment and disposal of hazardous waste. Overall, the estimated cost to businesses will rise from £150m to £500m per year.
l Businesses have a legal duty of care to ensure their hazardous waste is passed to someone who has the authority to handle it. Failure to do so may result in your waste being illegally handled or flytipped, leading to the prosecution of your business, as well as the flytipper.
l Keep up to date recent changes have resulted in more waste becoming hazardous.
EA hazardous waste policy officer Roy Watkinson added: Action is required by affected businesses to avoid more serious consequences, such as increased stockpiling and flytipping.