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BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Waste is any surplus material generated from a process that does not form part of the final product. Waste must be disposed of: costing you money and degrading the environment.
 
Through resource efficiency, by preventing waste and emissions at source, organisations can maximise output and increase profits. Rubbish and waste can account for over 4% of business turnover. It's important to remember that each pound saved on material costs goes straight to the bottom line.
 
Waste minimisation is about the systematic reduction of all forms of waste and may include energy, water, materials, effort and process and production waste in order to conserve resources. You pay for waste twice - once to buy it in as a product or raw material and once to dispose of it. With landfill tax set to increase to 35 per tonne by 2007, maybe it's the right time to start minimising waste.
 
Using Eastex can help minimise the amount of material your organisation disposes of to landfill or incineration. It brings together organisations with complimentary requirements. One organisation's waste is another's raw material. Successful exchanges reduce the amount of potentially useful materials going to landfill.
 
The issue of waste is addressed in various pieces of legislation, which Eastex users should be aware of. Key regulatory instruments and guidelines are summarised below.
DUTY OF CARE
The Environmental Protection Regulations (Duty of Care) 1991 (SI 1991 No. 2839) (as amended SI 2003 No. 63)
The Duty of Care applies to business and industry. It is the duty to ensure that waste generated is handled safely and in accordance with the law and it applies to all Controlled Waste - the waste materials produced as part of a business activity or within the workplace. The Duty of Care does not in any way alter the need to comply with other waste regulations.
 
Businesses are responsible for ensuring the safe and proper disposal or recovery of their waste, even after they have passed it on to another party such as a waste contractor, scrap metal merchant, recycler, local council or skip hire company. This responsibility has no time limit, and extends until the waste has either been finally and properly disposed of or fully recovered. Crucially, it also requires that a record is kept of all waste received or transferred through a system of signed Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs). Users of Eastex should bear this in mind when arranging an exchange.
 
Please click here for more comprehensive information about these regulations.
CONTROLLED WASTE
The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 588)
Commercial, industrial, household wastes and Special Wastes are classified and treated as Controlled Waste. Controlled Waste must stored properly, collected by a registered waste carrier and disposed of at an authorised disposal facility, in line with the producer’s Duty of Care.
 
Please click here for the particulars of this piece of legislation.
HAZARDOUS WASTE
The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005 No. 894)
On 16 July 2005, new controls on Hazardous Waste came into force. These replace the previous Special Waste regime. Under these regulations more types of waste are classed as Hazardous Waste than were classed as Special Waste. Sites that produce Hazardous Waste must register their premises with the Environment Agency each year. This removes the need to pre-notify the Environment Agency of Special Waste movements.
 
Hazardous Waste is so called because it has hazardous properties that may make it harmful to human health or to the environment. Examples of wastes classed as hazardous include: asbestos; lead-acid batteries; electrical equipment containing hazardous components such as cathode ray tubes (televisions); oily sludges; solvents; fluorescent light tubes; chemical wastes; and pesticides. Most businesses are likely to produce some Hazardous Waste. They will need to ensure that their waste is dealt with appropriately.
 
Please click here for more comprehensive information about these regulations.
REGISTRATION OF CARRIERS
The Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations 1991 (SI 1991 No. 1624), (as amended SI 1998 No. 605)
A Waste Carrier is someone whose business or part of their business involves the transportation of waste. They must register with the Environment Agency and undertake various other duties. Generally, companies are exempt if they are a waste producer carrying their own waste.
 
A notable exception to this is building or demolition waste. If a company transports its own building or demolition waste, it must register as a Waste Carrier with the Environment Agency. Construction companies should note that unused raw materials, which were new when purchased and can be used later in their original form, are not waste. General demolition materials, scrap and hardcore amongst other unwanted items are, however, waste and subject to these regulations.
 
Please click here for more comprehensive information about these regulations.
WASTE MANAGEMENT LICENSING
The Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No. 1056) (as amended 2005 No.1728)
This piece of legislation is unlikely to apply to organisations that only store waste which they produce and regularly remove it from their site.
 
It applies to companies that deposit, keep (store waste that they did not produce), treat (including recycling and using mobile plant) or dispose of Controlled Waste in or on any land or by means of a mobile plant, or if they knowingly permit any of these activities. These require a Waste Management Licence or an official exemption, depending upon the duration of storage, types and quantities of wastes being handled and the activity carried out on the site.
 
Please click here for more comprehensive information about these regulations.
PACKAGING REGULATIONS
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005 No. 3468)
Companies (or groups of companies) with a turnover exceeding 2 million and handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging per year are obliged to recover and recycle a proportion of the packaging waste materials that they supply with their products. Obligated companies must register with the Environment Agency and then demonstrate the achievement of their recovery and recycling targets or join an approved compliance scheme.
 
Broadly, this affects companies involved in the manufacture of raw materials used to produce packaging materials, conversion of packaging materials to packaging, the filling of packaging with product or the selling of packaged product to an end user. It also applies to companies that import packaging or packaged goods.
 
Please click here for the particulars of this piece of legislation.
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