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Waste duty of care code of practice updated

The Environment Agency has updated its duty of care code of practice for organisations dealing with controlled wastes, while rules for hazardous waste producers have also changed.

The Environment Agency has updated its duty of care code of practice for organisations dealing with controlled wastes, while rules for hazardous waste producers have also changed.

The revised code of practice reflects recent regulatory changes and aims to simplify legal compliance. The code was last updated in 1996. 

Duty of care

Duty of care is a legal requirement for any organisation dealing with wastes, including those producing waste.

The code of practice details how waste producers, carriers and managers must:

  • Prevent unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste
  • Prevent a breach of an environmental permit or a breach of a permit condition
  • Prevent the escape of waste by ensuring that it is handled and stored safely and securely
  • Check that waste leaving a site is transferred to an authorised person or business
  • Provide an accurate description of the waste when it is transferred, whether or not it is hazardous or non-hazardous.

Waste crime

According to Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), duty of care guidance is vital to help prevent waste crime.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness amongst SMEs of their responsibilities as waste producers, he said: “A more robust duty of care regime is essential for [the waste] sector…by ensuring that businesses understand their obligations and have the right knowledge to avoid illegal operators.”

Hazardous waste

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has also announced changes for companies producing hazardous waste.

From 1 April 2016, companies that produce, store or handle 500kg or more of hazardous waste a year will no longer need to register their premises with the Environment Agency as a hazardous waste producer. 

This will affect consignment notes, consignee returns and the records hazardous waste producers have to keep. For further information, click here.