The waste permitting process needs to give more recognition to the importance of management system standards, to improve compliance, according to a report.
The British Standards Insitution (BSI) has highlighted standards, schemes and industry best practice in its report, which concludesthat standards have an important role in helping organisations maintain waste permit compliance, especially in reducing the burden and cost of compliance.
The Standardisation Roadmap to Support Waste Permitting report’s recommendations include:
- Develop company-wide permits (making use of company-wide standards) to help improve the consistency of compliance management
- Provide public and private sector incentives and support to enable organizations to move up the waste hierarchy (i.e. prevent and reduce waste)
- Incentivise better performance by reducing compliance costs/burdens
- Recognise and address the different capacities of large and small
- Develop further sector-specific guidance including for the biowaste industry
- Improve the way that permitted organisations use EMS standards such as BS EN ISO 14001 to achieve and manage permit compliance, linking waste permits with standards and non-regulator assurance in a homogenous compliance system
- The Government should consider how to remove barriers to increased understanding and use of standards
- Develop new standards as part of the National Standards Body activity to fill in the specific standardization gaps.
BSI’s report has been produced as a response to an open letter from Government requesting insight into how standards, conformity assessment and accreditation can impact on waste management.
It has been compiled with input from authorities including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency (EA).
Defra minister Lord de Mauley said: “We have cut red tape in the waste sector, allowing it to concentrate on what it does best, protecting the environment and contributing to the UK economy every year.
“It is important that Government, the regulator and industry work together to help bring about better environmental protection while reducing the burden of regulation on those that comply and freeing up innovative businesses to create jobs and help the economy grow.”
Harvey Bradshaw, head of regulated industry at the Environment Agency, said: “We encourage regulated industry to take responsibility for managing compliance and make greater use of standards to achieve high levels of compliance and improve environmental performance.”