Better rules needed for disposal of inert waste in England

Possible changes to the rules for dealing with brick, concrete, hardcore, subsoil and other inert waste from the construction, demolition and excavation industries (C&D), are published for informal consultation. The aim is to adopt a more proportionate and risk-based approach to its recovery and disposal.

The Government’s Waste Strategy 2007 supported increased efficiency in the use of construction, demolition and excavation materials, but recognized a continued role for inert waste in restoring exhausted mineral workings. The Government committed in the Strategy to consult on options for reform of inert waste regulation.

Defra and the Environment Agency have worked with the industry led Landfill Inert Waste Sub-Group to develop possible ways forward, and responses to the discussion paper will help to shape final proposals.

Comments are requested on the following:

  • Greater use of derogations from some of the Landfill Directive controls that are provided for inert waste;
  • The need for a level playing field for the different activities involving inert waste;
  • Revised guidance on the testing of inert wastes that are landfilled;
  • Inconsistencies in terminology for describing inert waste going to landfill; and
  • The quality of guidance, including classifying an activity as recovery or disposal.

The informal consultation reflects recommendations from Lord Davidson’s report of November 2006 on reducing or simplifying unnecessary regulation. It also takes account of a position statement by the Quarry Products Association in June 2006, setting out industry concern about the level of regulation.