Entering any form of Waste Management in the UK market is a potential minefield of legislation and controlling bodies. There are some basics that I hope to share here that can help point you in the right direction and give you a better view of how the industry is controlled.

01 January 2008

Web Waste-Control


The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2008 are due to come into force on 1 April 2008. They will replace all current permitting regulations (PPC Regs, Landfill Regs, Waste Management Licensing Regs.

The Consultations were due back to DEFRA in December 2007. According to DEFRA Enviromnmental Permitting or EPP will be:

  • a modern, proportionate, risk-based system that is easier, quicker and cheaper to use
  • not change what is regulated or who regulates
  • drastically reduce the amount of guidance and forms used
  • use a streamlined IT system being developed under Core Regulation and the charging scheme being developed under the Unified Charging Scheme
  • save industry and regulators time and money

The Fixed Licences introduced in 2007 were the Environment Agency preparing for these forth coming regulations.

More information can be found on the DEFRA web site at :


26 January 2007

Web Waste-Control

WEEE _ New Regulations for the control of electrical waste

Two new regulations came into power at the beginning of January.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 came into force 2/1/07

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Waste Management
Licensing)Regulations 2006 Came into force 5/1/07

The first applies mainly to producers, importers and distributers of Electronic Equipment.
The second regs apply mainly to people who handle waste electronic equipment.

The regulations came from the European WEEE Directive, the purpose of the directive is to reduce the volume of hazardous waste going to landfill, Protect human and animal health from the negative impacts of this waste, increase resource productivity while contributing towards sustainable development through the re-use, recovery and recycling of WEEE.

The first regulations are implimented by DTI and the second by The Environment Agency or SEPA.

What does this mean for businesses?

Producers need to become a member of a compliance scheme which will register them, and manage and monitor WEE on their behalf. These are similar to the compliance scheme in operation for the Packaging Waste Regulations. They will need to pay a fee and supply data on EEE placed on the market during 2006. Producers will have obligations to finance the collection, treatment and recycling of WEEE and mark all new products put on the market.

Retailers and distributors will need to decide whether to join a scheme which will collect household WEEE on their behalf, or offer in-store take-back.

To prove they have treated and recycled WEEE, they will provide evidence from Authorised Treatment Facilities. These facilities will require a waste management licence or to register an exemption from waste management licensing with the EA or SEPA.

The licesing regs introduced 2 new licensing exemptions to allow small scale storeag and repair of WEEE.

Follow this link for further information on all aspects of WEEE http://www.weeeman.org/ The EA web site at this link provides information for business http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/1745440/444663/1106248/

27 September 2006

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Simpler, Cheaper, Quicker applications

You can now apply for a ‘fixed’ waste management licence. This is easier and cheaper to issue and more flexible than a bespoke licence.
Fixed licences have set conditions that you can see on the EA website, so you can be clear about which licence to apply for and what the licence requires you to do before you apply.

They are currently available for:

Household, Commercial and Industrial waste transfer station with or without treatment and asbestos storage.

Asbestos waste transfer station

Inert and excavation waste transfer station with or without treatment.

Non-hazardous and hazardous household waste amenity site .

Composting Facility.

Metal recycling site

Vehicle Depollution & Dismantling Facility

Materials recycling facilities

Other due are:

October 2006
Clinical waste transfer station
Physical Treatment facility
Physical – Chemical treatment facility

December 2006
Exempt incinerators (Pet crematoria)
Chemical Treatment facility
Biological Treatment facility

Benefits of the new fixed licence

• A fixed licence is 10% cheaper than a bespoke licence.

• You no longer need a ‘working plan’ and a risk assessment for each site when you apply for a licence (but you do need an accident plan and a management system) which once more saves you time and money.

• You receive your licence within 4 months if you give the correct information when you apply, the site has relevant planning permission and you are a fit and proper person.

• The conditions of the licence are published in advance, so you know even before you apply for a licence what you have to do to comply.

More flexible

• You now have more freedom to decide how you meet environmental performance
• You produce the site accident plan and management system as described in the guidance on how you will manage the activity.

• You can change the way you operate as long as it is within the conditions set out in the
fixed licence without having to change it or get permission from us.

• Licence conditions are the same for every site or activity throughout England and Wales.

21 April 2006

Web Waste-Control

Is it waste?

The main regulatory bodies in the UK for waste management are the Environment Agency (EA) for England and Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for Scotland.

Usually the first place to start is determining if the item is a waste. Now this is not as simple as it sounds because what may be considered a product by one person can and often is considered to be controlled waste by the Regulating Authorities. The general rule is if the item has been discarded by the owner or can no longer be used for its original pourpose (i.e broken) it will be considered a waste. The other guide is if there is doubt over whether it is a waste then it most likely is.


The definiton of waste used in the UK comes from the European Waste Frame Work Directive and guidance on its interpretation is found in Government Circular 11/94 Annex II, however this is not soley relied on by the Authorites as there have been several case laws since this interpretation that now have to be taken into account.

The first place to contact if there is a doubt is one of the Agencies, you can use the links for contact details.

Web Waste-Control

It is waste, what now?

There are 3 options:

Use an authorised company or individual

Become authorised

Act illegally

1. Use an authorised company or individual

To avoid having to obtain the appropriate authorisation you can use a company who holds them already. The are hundreds of companies involved in all aspects and areas of waste management. To find one its as simple as looking in your telephone directory, searching on the internet or asking your trade associations.

Of course you need to way up the costs of using a company to the costs and work involved in setting up your own company.

As the market is competitive, depending on the waste, you can usually shop around for prices and terms. Be aware that there are rogue operators, who have no or incorrect authorisation, the "to good to be true price" may be an indication.

To use an unauthorised operator is illegal as a waste producer or holder you have a legal duty of care to ensure they are authorised. The simplest way is to contact the EA or SEPA to check their details and ask if that permits then to take your waste.

2. Become authorised

To move waste you need to be a registered waste carrier, this is done by registering with the EA or SEPA. The registration fee is under £150 and last for a year there after you have to pay an annual fee.

To do anything other than transporting requires a further authorisation, these are listed below in a hierarchy of complexity:

Waste management licensing exemption
Low risk activity
Waste Management Licence
PPC Permit

The appropriate one is totally dependent on the waste type, its quantity and what you intend to do with it. More information on these can be found on the EA and SEPA web sites, as they are the authorising bodies.

3. Act illegally

Well I hope people were responsible enough to care about the environment and control of waste, obviously this is not the case. As new legislation is produced classifying wastes as hazardous the costs of disposal increase, therefore the money to be gained from acting illegally increases.

To help deter this penalties have increased for waste management offences, fines of up to £50,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine or up to 5 years imprisonment if prosecuted in a Crown Court.