With the introduction of reams of waste legislation over the last decade, you may be forgiven for thinking that this is a sector that is well regulated. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Waste crime costs England £1bn a year and the number of illegal waste sites being discovered is soaring (over 1,000 last year – more than the previous two years combined). Illegal waste sites can be deeply unpleasant for local residents, pollute ground and water, make people ill and even kill them.
So, what can you do to make sure that you are not supporting this illegal activity?
- Check that the company removing waste from your site holds an upper tier waste carrier licence. These last for three years (unless rescinded), so make a diary note to check for renewal.
- Ask your waste carrier to confirm the address of the site they will be taking the waste to. Check that the site has a permit to accept the type of waste you are sending to them. These permits are usually open-ended, so check the gov.uk public registers to make sure it is still valid.
- Make sure that every waste transfer is covered by appropriate documentation. In particular, make sure that the correct EWC code is used so that the receiving site knows what they are getting.
- Check that you receive a ‘Part E’ return (which may be a spreadsheet) for all hazardous waste transfers, and that the details on it match those on the hazardous waste consignment notes.
There are a couple of types of hazardous waste that often fall through the cracks:
- Old lights are often removed by electrical contractors, who rarely have the correct documentation in place.
- In a similar way, F-Gas engineers will often take refrigerant gases away when de-gassing plant, and often do not supply the correct paperwork.
If you are not confident that your business has adequate waste controls in place, we can help – call Julia on 07904 389889 to discuss your requirements.
Information source: The Guardian.