Many businesses and other organisations still need to review their waste management policies and create additional procedures in order to comply with The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.
The new legislation was introduced as part of the EU’s Waste Framework Directive and has an impact on all organisations that are responsible for producing, keeping, transporting, recycling, recovering or disposing of waste.
Lee Wright, Marketing Director of Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products including a wide range of waste management equipment, says: "The Government has been set strict landfill targets by the EU and this new legislation has been introduced to help meet these goals.
"Commercial organisations have had to abide by the changes since last October but a lot of workplaces that we’re speaking to, across all industries, are still unsure of their obligations. However many of the changes are relatively straightforward and we have set out a simple checklist below to help organisations stay on the right side of the law."
Slingsby has compiled the following guidelines to help businesses and other workplaces ensure they are complying with the legislation:-
• Organisations must now consider each aspect of the ‘waste management hierarchy’ when dealing with waste which incorporates prevention, preparing for re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal.
• They must also include a declaration on their waste transfer note or consignment note confirming the ‘waste management hierarchy’ has been applied along with the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code for the organisation transferring the waste.
• A two-tier system has now been introduced for waste carriers, brokers and waste dealers. Although there are exceptions, generally speaking, if your organisation deals with other people’s waste, or if you carry your own construction or demolition waste, then you must register as an ‘upper tier’ carrier.
• Lower tier registration requires carriers to register if they deal with waste from mines and quarries, agricultural premises or animal by-products.
• The new regulations make amendments to hazardous waste controls and introduce a new category of ‘sensitising’ so some non-hazardous wastes have been reclassified as hazardous wastes. Sensitising substances cause hypersensitisation meaning there are adverse effects if they are inhaled or penetrate the skin.
• Waste controls no longer apply to activities dealing only with excluded wastes. For example, land spreading animal by-products are no longer subject to waste controls. Businesses should check the full list to see whether their waste activity is exempt.
Finally Lee adds: "It’s also worth bearing in mind that further changes are due to be introduced next year. These will require any organisations carrying their own waste, outside the construction and demolition industries, to register as a waste carrier. In addition from 2015, various waste types, including paper, glass, metal and plastic will have to be completely segregated and collected separately.