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New waste guidance for businesses

The Environment Agency has issued new guidance to help businesses decide if a material is waste or not, while a separate guide has been published to help avoid waste crime.

The Environment Agency has issued new guidance to help businesses decide if a material is waste or not, while a separate guide has been published to help avoid waste crime.

The updated Environment Agency guidance, published on 5 May 2016, helps businesses to work out whether a material should be classified as waste or not and when certain waste rules apply.

The update follows a review of existing waste guidance for businesses to make it clearer and more user-friendly. An updated duty of care code of practice was published in March.

Understanding waste

There is no change to the interpretation of the law on the definition of waste, but the new guidance provides more information on reuse, recycling, recovery and the waste hierarchy to encourage waste prevention.

Speaking to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Neil Curtis, managing director at north west headquartered B&M Waste Services, said “This latest guidance helps small and medium sized companies understand their waste, and in particular we urge customers to consider how they are disposing of their waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries.”

Avoiding waste crime

Meanwhile, separate guidance has been produced by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and legal firm, Dentons, to help businesses understand and avoid waste crime. 

Fighting Waste Crime: the real impact of waste crime on your organisation, comes after a nationwide campaign was launched to increase awareness of duty of care legislation for waste, with research having revealed that over half of UK businesses are not complying with it.

Steve Lee, chief executive of CIWM, said: “CIWM believes businesses of all sizes and kinds can work better with their waste managers to control their costs, protect people and the environment and avoid prosecution for failure to control wastes.

“We therefore urge all waste operators – and producers for that matter, including those operating under environmental permits or under ‘exemptions’ from permitting – to check their level of knowledge and understanding of waste law. Doing so is your first line of defence in safeguarding your business.”

Further information is available on the Right Waste Right Place campaign website.