Association Responds to Defra Over Hazardous Waste Strategy in England

ESA Calls on Tougher Implementation of Hazardous Waste Regulations

UK trade association, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called for stronger implementation of the government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Hazardous Waste Strategy.

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UK trade association, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called for stronger implementation of the government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Hazardous Waste Strategy.

 

The organisation urged both Defra and the Environment Agency to step up implementation of the Hazardous Waste Strategy, in order to raise standards of hazardous treatment, and bear down on waste crime.

 

According to ESA, Defra has been carrying out a light touch review (“temperature check”) of its 2010 hazardous waste strategy for England, but has sought views on whether changes to the strategy are needed to improve the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste, and to encourage investment in hazardous waste infrastructure in the UK.

 

ESA’s response to the department is as follows:

 

“ESA supports the principles on which the 2010 Strategy is based, but believes that Defra and the Environment Agency have given insufficient priority to the implementation of the Strategy on the ground. Hence it has not been as effective in raising standards of hazardous waste treatment as it might have been.

 

  • ESA believes that rather than re-wording the Strategy, action should be taken as follows:
  • Defra and the Agency should give guidance as to what they consider to be the best overall environmental option (BOEO) for dealing wit h key hazardous wastes.
  • Defra should provide clear policy direction by making a decision on the future of the 3xWAC derogation for HW landfill.
  • Defra and the Agency should indicate whether they consider there is a continuing role for hazardous waste landfill in the future and if so for which wastes and over what timescale.
  • Defra and the Agency should continue to bear down on waste crime of all kinds, particularly those involving hazardous waste which pose the biggest risks to human health and the environment.”

 

The association said that its views are in line with the findings of a report into hazardous waste management in ten EU Member States, including the UK, which was published by the European Commission in January 2016.

 

That report recommended the UK authorities should take the following actions:

 

  • Promote the waste hierarchy for the overall management of hazardous waste to avoid sham treatment and foster high-standard treatment
  • Enforce the implemented legislation on hazardous waste to support investments from industry in Best Available Technologies (BAT)
  • Promote the usage of the WM3 guidance document for operators in industry and especially address SME’s
  • Support the correct classification, labeling and packaging of Hazardous Waste
  • Change the record keeping system to an electronic version.

 

 

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