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Waste sector kicks off new 'red tape' review

Regulation in the waste sector is to be reviewed under the Government’s new Cutting Red Tape programme, which is looking to reduce business costs across the economy by £10bn.

The sector is one of the first to be examined in this way by the Cabinet Office, and will consider the impact of regulations across the industry regarding:

  • compliance checks
  • visits and inspections
  • data collection and requests
  • requirements to make formal applications or provide information to obtain permits and licences
  • proportionality of regulation
  • consultation by regulators
  • clarity of guidance and advice assessment of impact of activities on growth

The evidence will be used “to identify and remove barriers to advancing the sector whilst ensuring human health and the environment remain protected”.

Resource minister Rory Stewart, above, called the review an exciting opportunity to look at “needless bureaucracy and remove unnecessary burdens on businesses” in the waste sector.

He said: “We have already delivered savings of just under £1m a year by removing requirements for businesses to create site waste management plans, and I hope this review will identify more barriers we can remove to open up the industry to further growth and innovation.”

The review will complement work by Defra to ensure that regulatory effort is targeted effectively and focused on speedy and tough enforcement action where necessary.

Stewart said: “We will shortly be publishing the Government’s response to the recent consultation on legislative proposals to enhance the Environment Agency’s enforcement powers.

“This review is about giving the people who work in the waste industry a voice, giving them an opportunity to have a say on regulations that affect them, and creating an efficient and productive waste industry.”

Evidence can be submitted at the Cutting Red Tape website

Industry response

Vicki Hughes, group business development director for Hadfield Wood Recyclers, said: “Regulation within the waste and recycling sector is in desperate need of a review. At the moment there are anomalies between regions as well as rules being implemented that are simply untenable for businesses to operate under.

“We welcome any review that enables the Government to take a common sense approach to the waste and recycling sector, allowing it to grow and help the UK to reach its sustainability targets.”

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