Waste operators should be able to demonstrate competence, responsibility and transparency as part of tougher controls to combat waste crime, according to a cross-sector group of experts.
The group includes representatives from trade bodies the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and United Resource Operators Consortium, as well as independent regulatory advisers.
It is calling for improvements to the carriers, brokers and dealers (CBD) regulatory regime.
ESA executive director Jacob Hayler said the current regime was a significant source of ‘leakage’ of waste materials from the UK’s regulated systems, and of real and potential criminal activity.
“This is largely due to low barriers to entry, and loose or unenforceable operating standards and regulatory requirements,” said Hayler. “We are calling for the Government to commit to implement a series of measures, preferably within the framework of the forthcoming resources and waste strategy, to improve the regulatory regime.”
The group has put forward recommendations to Defra, including increasing the requirements and standards for becoming a CBD, strengthening links between producer and carrier, and between carrier, broker and recovery or disposal site.
It also proposes retaining producer obligation and responsibility while also placing more onus on CBDs as waste professionals, and also ensuring they understand their responsibilities in securing legal compliance and preventing waste crime.
The group is proposing that carriers, brokers and dealers are separated by applying different regulatory requirements and that the current registration of CBDs is replaced with a higher system of permits.
For waste carriers there would be a tiered approach to permitting, dependent on the scale and nature of waste carried, robust identity checks, a requirement to show competence on an ongoing basis and evidence of the end of destination of waste. An application fee would enable appropriate compliance monitoring of upper tier carriers by regulators.
Similar controls and regulatory oversight would be applied to brokers and dealers as to upper tier carriers. An application fee and annual subsistence charge would facilitate compliance monitoring.
Changes to the Duty of Care regime, particularly in relation to record-keeping requirements, may also be needed, the group has suggested.
CIWM chief executive Colin Church said: “Waste that is managed badly or illegally, and deposited in the wrong place, causes misery for communities, can damage health and local environments and costs governments, local authorities, land owners and taxpayers millions of pounds in lost revenue and clean-up costs.
”It is a growing problem and, while additional resources have been made available by the Government in recent years to tackle waste crime, we are a long way from turning the tide.”
The CIWM and ESA are also working with regulators and other stakeholders on the third phase of the ’Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign. The campaign provides information and practical advice to help businesses meet their waste Duty of Care obligations.
- Colin Church is to join the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining as chief executive “towards the end of this year”, it has been announced.