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New waste regulations for businesses

Published 11th October, 2011 by Neil Nixon

New waste regulations for businesses

New European waste regulations are set to make businesses greener, however one waste management expert argues the regulations don’t go far enough and is calling for enforcement prosecution.

From 28 September companies have been required to adhere to the new Waste Hierarchy before disposing of rubbish. Businesses are now responsible for monitoring the type of waste they produce, the quantities, the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) codes and the methods of disposal used.

Karen James, commercial manager at LIME, the total waste division of PHS Datashred, said:“These newly updated rules will have a positive impact on our environment and will help reduce the carbon footprint of businesses across the UK. However I feel they do not go far enough. I’d like to see stronger penalties for businesses that don’t treat their waste responsibly. We have data systems that can track our entire customers waste metrics. This is important to our clients, as we can produce complete schedules of all waste types as well as lists of any relevant regulations. As a part of our ‘zero to landfill’ policy, last year 100% of the waste we handled was diverted from landfill.”

The new regulations state that all recyclable waste must first be segregated and then either recovered or recycled. Companies will also be asked to keep records of all this activity for inspection by the Environment Agency and to sign a declaration on the Waste Transfer Note. If a business’s waste management decisions fail to comply with the Waste Hierarchy they will be asked to justify them and face possible prosecution.

The principle of ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’ has been updated to ‘Prevention-Minimisation-Reuse-Recycling-Energy Recovery-Disposal’.

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