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Landfill regulation chaos predicted

Industry insiders have revealed that Government guidance for new landfill regulation requirements that come into effect next year have just been issued to stakeholders.

One insider described the timetable as chaotic for the likes of retailers, manufacturers and waste management companies who will be hit by the regulations.

The guidance notes refer to new rules that will require all non-hazardous waste to be pre-treated before going to landfill and a ban on all liquid waste from landfill.

A source involved with shaping the new guidance told MRW  that the draft guidance notes, thought to be in their final version, had only been issued from the Environment Agency (EA) to stakeholders on Friday.

Stakeholders have been given until December 11 to give feedback before formal guidance is issued publicly.

But with only three weeks until Christmas, the final version looks unlikely to be published this year.

The big players may want to raise issues which could delay it even further, the source added. Although the October 30 2007 start date for the new rules looks set to stick.

If formal guidance is published next year, it would give only months for landfill operators, waste carriers and waste producers to prepare for the regulations, which according to some is simply not enough time. Insiders suggest the industry is ill-prepared for the regulations, with some predicting chaos.

Although the October 2007 implementation date was included in the 2005 amendments to the Landfill Regulations, industry has been waiting for more specific guidance and unwilling to invest if not necessary.

Part of the waste acceptance requirements under the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002 (as amended), the new rules will have huge implications for the waste industry, affecting the way businesses, waste carriers and landfill operators have to work.

Pre-treatment requirements mean commercial and industrial waste producers will be required to either segregate their waste on their premises before collection by a waste carrier, or ensure their waste is put through a materials recycling facility (MRF) before it goes to landfill. Landfill operators will be required to check this has occurred.

The guidance has been produced to answer key questions about the new requirement raised in response to Guidance for waste destined for disposal in landfills that was published in 2005.


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