Hazardous waste: the rules have changed
London— Defra and the waste
industry have teamed up to urge businesses to know the facts on
new hazardous waste regulations before they come into force this
Government and the waste industry
are asking businesses to check the facts and be prepared for how
the legislation may impact on their business. Ben Bradshaw, Minister
for Local Environmental Quality, said: “It is essential
that businesses act now. With many businesses finding themselves
hazardous waste producers for the first time, the full implications
of the new controls may not be yet fully appreciated.
“Tailored advice on how
to handle your waste is at hand from your waste contractor and
the Environment Agency. Further support and waste minimization
advice is available from Envirowise, who are already working with
a range of businesses to help them cut down on its production
in the first place.”
Because of their chemical content,
some everyday household and businesses items such as computer
monitors, televisions and fluorescent tubes have joined the list
of toxic, corrosive and irritant substances and materials like
asbestos, waste oils and industrial chemicals under the ‘hazardous’
Small businesses, in particular
- and even some larger ones - will now find themselves producing
hazardous waste for the first time.
As of July 16, 2005, new standards
- the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) - will have to be met by
all hazardous waste being disposed of to landfill. Businesses
will have to be able to describe exactly what their waste contains.
This ‘characterization’ will determine what can be
done to minimize it, ease its recovery or ensure its safe disposal.
Usually this will involve discussions
with waste contractors and/or landfill operators. As businesses
that produce hazardous waste will have to ensure that the waste
going to landfill meets the WAC, an assessment at an early stage
Regulations have been brought
in to improve the tracking and safe management of hazardous waste
in England, from the producer to the disposal or treatment facility.
These new controls will include a requirement for most producers
of hazardous waste to notify their premises to the Environment