Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New waste rules: beyond TEEP

Waste experts have lamented a lack of understanding of the requirements of the amended waste regulations that will come into force next year and said the debate has been too focussed on the so called ‘TEEP test’ for councils.

In a panel session at RWM, Andrew Bird, chair of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee noted the revised EU framework directive, which will be implemented from 2015, applies to all waste collectors, therefore also on private companies and individuals.

“It is not a local authority issue,” he said. “It is an issue across the board.”

He said he was worried about the level of awareness among commercial operators of the requirements of the new rules.

“I have massive concerns on the commercial sector on how they can even begin to comply with the regulations,” he said. “I feel there is a complete lack of understanding.”

He added he was looking forward to seeing how the Environment Agency will manage the enforcement regime.

Esther Kiddle, a lawyer with experience in the waste sector, noted another important element has received little attention, the so-called necessity test.

Under the the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, waste collectors should collect recyclable materials separately where necessary to ensure that waste is treated in accordance with the waste hierarchy and to protect human health and the environment, and where it is technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do so.

Kiddle said that councils had rushed to conduct TEEP assessments due to “sheer panic”, while there had been little consideration for the necessity argument.

“I have not seen any evidence on the necessity test that convinces me that we even have to go to the TEEP point… We got it the wrong way round.”

Kiddle added that more information and peer review, such as data on contamination levels and quantity of materials, was needed to assess whether separate collections were necessary to achieve the objective of the waste framework directive.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.