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More waste, less space

An increase in hazardous waste producers and an increase in hazardous waste arisings are the two main implications from changes to the Hazardous Waste List, according to Andy Howarth, head of hazardous waste policy at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Outlining the likely changes to the hazardous waste regime, he said there would be a shift in focus from waste managers to producers.

Producers would have to provide site-of-production notification, while consignment notes would also change, meaning there would be no need to pre-notify the Environment Agency (EA).

Other key changes included dropping the term special, an exclusion for domestic waste, modified carrier rounds, changes to mixing requirements, returns back to producers from consignees, record keeping for sites not consigning and fixed penalty notices for minor offences.

Cleanaway regulatory affairs director Gill Weeks believed the shift in focus from waste managers to producers could cause potential problems for operators like Cleanaway.

Using fluorescent tube waste as an example, she said: If there is one in the skip should the driver pick it up? Should he take it out? Or should he leave the skip?

There could also be competition problems for waste management companies.

If we leave it, will they call on someone else to pick it up?

There was also scope for people to circumvent the regulations. I have real concerns that the EA is out of the loop on this, Weeks added.

Her comment was in response to EA hazardous waste policy manager Roy Watkinsons presentation. He had told delegates that enforcement would be facilitated through freedom from the desk.

But Weeks said: (EA) staff who are used to checking consignment notes turning into inspectors? I think not.

I have concerns that determined people could circumvent these regulations. The new regulations appear weaker than the Special Waste Regulations.

People might try and hide hazardous waste in the bottom of skips. There will be an incentive for people to try to manipulate waste, she concluded.

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