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New regulations put onus on landfill operators to reject untreated waste COMMENT UPDATE

Draft guidance notes on the pre-treatment of non-hazardous waste seen by MRW puts the onus on landfill operators to reject untreated waste from sites from the end of October 2007.

Part of the Landfill Directive, the guidance for the new regulations sets out the regulatory framework and responsibilities and provides practical examples of how to treat non-hazardous waste based on the experiences of waste producers and managers.

With statutory targets already in place for local authorities to divert municipal waste, the new rules are aimed more at commercial and industrial and construction and demolition waste.

Treatment must satisfy the three point test of: 1) using a physical, thermal, chemical or biological process including sorting; 2) changing the characteristics of the waste; and 3) reducing its volume or hazardous nature, or facilitating its handling, or enhancing recovery.

Although the legal requirement to pre-treat is new, it is not intended to require additional measures provided the treatment option satisfies the three point test. It is not intended to penalise forward thinking companies, the guidance states.

Waste producers will need to treat their own waste at source, i.e. separate it into recyclables and residual waste and provide confirmation of this to subsequent waste holders, or ensure their waste is treated before it is landfilled through their waste contractors.

But it will be up to landfill operators to check this has occurred and reject untreated loads. In the case of doubt, the landfill operator should presume that the waste has not been treated. It will therefore be in the producers or current waste holders own interest to provide a written declaration to confirm the above, the guidance states.

Specifics on how waste producers and landfill operators do this will be left up to them, with the guidance stating that landfill operators will need to decide for example whether they require a declaration in respect of each load or whether they will accept a season ticket arrangement similar to those for transfer notes under the Duty of Care.

19/12/06: At long last the legislation will be implemented but the honour system will not work - what is required is a paper trail, waste should go to a transfer station to be segregated and treated, the residue loaded on to the train or truck then sent to landfill. If there is no paperwork for each load then it cannot be moved. This should applied to all local councils as well as the private sector. I gather Scotland will start off in March 2007.
Posted by 'The Judge'

20/12/06: What about the small family run skip hire company that doesn't have a transfer site and takes its waste to landfill? What is going to happen to these companie? Is there any infomation on this for this type of operator? Or should they just shut up shop before October 2007?
Posted by Fred

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