Environmental Alert New Hazardous Waste Regulations

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NEW REGULATIONS

The Hazardous Waste and List of Wastes Regulations have been introduced replacing the existing Special Waste Regulations 1996 and come into effect on 16th July 2005. The definition of hazardous waste now covers a wider range and includes common items such as fluorescent tubes, television sets and computer monitors. It also covers any product bearing an orange hazard-warning symbol, such as certain types of paints and mastics and also a broader range of contaminated soils.

HAZARDOUS WASTE PRODUCER’S LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Construction sites are classified as hazardous waste producers. The regulations will have a number of impacts on producers:

  • All producers of hazardous waste must register the premises at which the waste arises with the Environment Agency.

  • Producers must avoid mixing hazardous waste and non-hazardous wastes e.g. separate skips.

  • Producers must still complete a consignment note. There is a new format for consignment notes and guidance is available from the Environment Agency to assist with their completion.

  • The regulations require the Environment Agency to inspect producers of hazardous waste who can prosecute or issue a fixed penalty notice (£300) for the failure to comply with the requirements of the regulations.

NOTIFICATION

All hazardous waste producers must notify their premises to the Environment Agency by the 15th July 2005 and every time a new site starts producing hazardous waste. It will be an offence to produce or remove hazardous waste from any premises that are not notified or exempt, after this date.

The notification which needs to be renewed after 12 months, will be accompanied by a registration code (or premises code) that must be written on all consignment notes.

A list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste