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January 2007

New rules for cutting waste crime

London— Consultation started in December to review, simplify and modernize the legislation that applies to the waste duty of care, the registration of waste carriers, and the registration and control of waste brokers.

The principle of the waste duty of care is fundamental to the safe transport and disposal of waste and it is paramount that this principle is both widely understood and promotes compliance.

Minister for Local Environment Quality, Ben Bradshaw, said, “A major barrier to the realization of sustainable waste management is waste crime and the illegal disposal of waste. This is already a significant problem, which has a notable effect on the quality of life in many communities. As regulations tighten and traditional waste disposal facilities reduce in number, the temptation for a minority to act outside the law may increase.

“We need to produce less waste in the first place, think differently about ways in which we can reuse waste and have a more joined-up approach to waste management.”

The scope of the review considers:

  • Existing offences and whether any additional ones are necessary, for example, to prevent forgery or the mis-description of waste;
  • Existing penalties, whether they are sufficient and need to be amended and whether different kinds or more flexible penalties could and should be introduced;
  • Whether the links between controls could or should be strengthened, for example, between the duty of care and the Transfrontier Shipment of waste and between the controls on waste carriers and other offenses for the illegal disposal of waste;
  • Other enforcement issues, for example, whether or not there ought to be more proactive inspections and the costs and benefits associated with this;
  • How better compliance could be encouraged through voluntary action and adoption of good practice;
  • Ways to promote e-commerce;
  • Whether the current controls could and should be used to help deliver other information requirements, for example, stemming from the Landfill and WEEE Directives;
  • Who actually needs to register as a waste carrier in light of a recent European Court of Justice ruling on an Italian infraction case.


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