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Fortnightly Bulletin – 17th June 2024

19 June 2024

Recycling

Legislation and Guidance

Wales – separated waste collections for workplaces 

The Welsh Government introduced ‘The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023’ that requires all workplaces to separate recyclable materials in the same way that most householders do now. This will improve the quality and quantity of how we collect and separate waste.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regulate the separation requirements and the bans on waste going to incineration and landfill. Local Authorities (LAs) regulate the ban on the disposal of food waste to sewer from non-domestic premises.

The law came into force on the 6th of April 2024. If you do not comply you could face a fine. NRW and LAs are helping workplaces comply and manage their waste in the right way.

The following materials need to be separated for collection, and collected separately:

  • Food – for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week
  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Metal, plastic, and cartons and other fibre-plastic composite packaging of a similar composition
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Unsold textiles.

There is also be a ban on the following:

  • Sending food waste to sewers
  • Separately collected waste going to incineration plants and landfills and ban all wood waste going to landfill.

Source: Gov.wales

For the full guidance, click here

Monitoring stack emissions: low risk MCP and specified generators

This guidance provides a standardised approach to monitoring stack gas emissions from low risk Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) and Specified Generators (SGs) regulated under the following:

  • ‘Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD) 2015/2193/EU Directive’ on the limitation of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plant.
  • ‘Specified Generator Regulations (SGRs) EPR 2018 Schedule 25B 2 (1) – Specified Generators’.

This guidance is for operators of:

  • low risk MCPs and SGs with standard rules permits
  • MCPs and SGs that are not low risk but have a condition in their permit that says they must use this guidance when monitoring compliance with emissions limits

Source: Gov.UK

For the full guidance, click here

Packaging data: tell the regulators how the packaging data was collected for extended producer responsibility

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published a guide to documenting how packaging data has been collected, known as a ‘methodology’. Online marketplaces affected by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging must submit a methodology.

If you are affected by EPR for packaging, you may need to report data about your packaging. This has to be as accurate as reasonably possible. You can also submit a document telling the regulator how you gathered and recorded your packaging data. This is known as a ‘methodology’. It helps show that your data accurately represents the variety and amount of packaging you’re responsible for.

Online marketplaces are businesses that operate a website or mobile application allowing non-United Kingdom (UK) businesses to sell their goods into the UK. Other organisations do not have to submit a methodology. However, having one can provide evidence that:

  • you have a clear process in place,
  • your data is as accurate as reasonably possible,
  • you have a documented process that is resilient if there is a change to staff or similar disruptions.

This is especially useful in the case of compliance audits by a regulator.

Source: Gov.UK

For the full guidance, click here

Air emissions risk assessment for environmental permits

This guidance assists operators and their consultants on how to complete an air emissions risk assessment, including how to calculate the impact of emissions and the standards that must be met.

The guidance includes the following:

  • The guides for risk assessments and best available techniques
  • The environmental standards used for comparison of the emissions from the site
  • The steps to complete the risk assessment.

Source: Gov.UK

For the full guidance, click here

RPS 298: Classify excavated waste from street and utility works

This Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) applies to classifying excavated waste produced through road and street works where sampling is not possible before removing the waste from the excavation site. This RPS does not apply to hazardous wastes.

The RPS does not change your legal requirement to comply with an environmental permit for a waste operation or installation or comply with a waste exemption.

However, the Environment Agency (EA) will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement and that the activity meets the description and comply with the conditions set in the RPS.

In addition, your activity must not cause (or be likely to cause) pollution of the environment or harm to human health, and must not:

This RPS only applies when you do work under ‘immediate’, ‘minor’, and ‘standard’ permits following the ‘New Roads and Street Works Act’. This also includes ‘major works’ where a ‘major’ permit is required due to traffic management only.

Conditions you must comply with include the following:

  • Only use this RPS when you cannot legally access the site to carry out preliminary sampling before you start excavation works.
  • Separate the waste by waste code type during excavation and transport (for example, the bituminous layer and the sub-base must be kept separate).
  • Move waste to either a site controlled by the producer, or to a suitably permitted site that is complying with RPS 299.
  • Include the works permit reference (or work order number) and put ‘classified using RPS 298’ in the description on any consignment note or waste transfer note accompanying the waste.
  • Keep records of all waste movements for two years (or three years for hazardous waste) to show that you have complied with this RPS and make these records available to the EA on request.

You must only apply this RPS to wastes with the certain European Waste Catalogue (EWC) codes.

This RPS is linked to RPS 299. You should read this RPS in conjunction with ‘Storing and managing excavated waste from street works: RPS 299’ to make sure you understand where you can take the waste you classify under this RPS.

The EA intends to review this RPS by the 20th of March 2025.

Source: Gov.UK

For the full guidance, click here

RPS 299: Storing and managing excavated waste from street works

This RPS applies to the acceptance and storage of the mirror-hazardous versions of the wastes listed in the RPS, where your permit only allows the corresponding mirror non-hazardous codes. You can also treat the wastes listed in this RPS if they have been assessed as non-hazardous under ‘Classify excavated waste from street and utility works: RPS 298’.

The RPS does not change your legal requirement to comply with an environmental permit for a waste operation or installation or comply with a waste exemption.

However, the EA will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement and that the activity meets the description and comply with the conditions set in the RPS.

In addition, your activity must not cause (or be likely to cause) pollution of the environment or harm to human health, and must not:

  • cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals,
  • cause a nuisance through noise or odours,
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

You must operate a permitted waste site that can accept certain EWC codes (except where you are the producer storing the waste at a site you control).

Conditions you must comply with include the following:

  • Update your management system to explain how you will manage wastes you accept under this RPS.
  • Store wastes received under this RPS separated by waste code (for example storing 17 03 02 bituminous waste separate to 17 09 04 sub-base).
  • Store waste received under this RPS separate to other (non-street works) wastes you receive.
  • Store waste that has been classified as hazardous under RPS 298 separated by different works (using the works permit reference, or work order number to identify different works) until it has been tested in line with the ‘Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste (1st Edition v1.2.GB), Technical Guidance WM3’ (WM3).
  • Keep records (including transfer documents and sampling results) for two years (or three years for hazardous waste) to show that you have complied with this RPS and make these records available to the EA on request.

This RPS is linked to RPS 298, and you should read that RPS to make sure you understand how the waste that it covers is classified. If you treat waste, you must test any materials produced from that treatment for hazardous properties in line with WM3.

The EA intends to review this RPS by the 31st of March 2025.

Source: Gov.UK

For the full guidance, click here

RPS 211: Excavated waste from utilities installation and repair

This RPS has been withdrawn by the EA.

Articles of Interest

Government lifts ban on new incinerators

The temporary ban on new waste-burning incinerators in England has been lifted. An order which prevented the EA from issuing permits to new plants expired on the 24th of May 2024 and no further order has been issued.

This paves the way for new incinerators, including one in Environment Secretary Steve Barclay’s constituency, to get the final go-ahead.

Environment Minister Sir Mark Spencer imposed a temporary pause on permits in April so that officials could consider “the role of waste incineration in the management of residual waste in England”. The findings of that piece of work have not yet been published.

Source: BBC

For the full article, click here

500 tonnes of waste goes up in flames at Edmonton plant

A fire broke out on the 13th of June at a waste recycling facility in Edmonton, setting 500 tonnes of mixed waste alight.

The facility, located on Nobel Road, went up in flames at approximately 3.30am and there are currently no reports of any injuries.

According to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), 10 fire engines and around 70 firefighters responded to the incident from crews across North London including Edmonton, Enfield, Chingford and other surrounding stations.

Source: letsrecycle website

For the full article, click here

Seven bin lorry fires in Cambridgeshire caused by discarded batteries

People are being urged to dispose of batteries carefully after seven bin lorry fires were caused by batteries being thrown away with everyday household waste.

The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste (GCSW) partnership stated that when batteries are put into wheelie bins they can get crushed or damaged when emptied into a lorry, leading to explosions and fires.

Lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones, vapes and power packs for electric bikes or scooters had caused fires in seven lorries since January.

Recent lorry fires have also broken out in Great Shelford, the centre of Cambridge and on the edge of Orchard Park.

Source: BBC

For the full article, click here

Wales ranks #2 in recycling, worldwide study finds

The Welsh government announced that the country has been named as second in the world for recycling, in a new study by Eunomia, with a 59% recycling rate.

The study showed that the nation came in just behind Austria, with Tawain at 3rd place, Germany at 4th place, and Belgium rounding out the top five. Also placing in the top ten was Northern Ireland at 9th place.

According to the study, England came in at 11th place and Scotland at 15th.

Source: letsrecycle website

For the full article, click here

Enforcement action

The EA can accept an enforcement undertaking as a voluntary offer made by an offender to:

  • Put right the effects of their offending.
  • Put right the impact on third parties.
  • Make sure the offence cannot happen again.

An abattoir in Norfolk will contribute £75,000 to the Norfolk Rivers Trust

The offences were failure to adhere to the ‘Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016’. In particular:

  • Operating without or other than in accordance with an environmental permit (water discharge activity) – Regulation 38(1).
  • Failure to comply with a permit condition (installation) – Regulation 38(2).

The offenses relate to the unauthorised discharge of contaminated water and pollution of a watercourse from the abattoir in Norfolk during July 2019 and August 2019.

The offer accepted by the EA was a reactive offer. The actions the offeror has taken or will take are to:

  • Review its environmental management system,
  • Review its fugitive management plan and risk assessment, and complete follow-up actions,
  • Carry out CCTV and flow investigations and complete follow-up actions,
  • Carry out a ground penetrating radar survey,
  • Carry out site improvement works,
  • Cover the EA’s costs.

The operator will contribute £75,000 to the Norfolk Rivers Trust.

A housing developer will contribute £75,000 to the Aires Rivers Trust

The offences were failure to adhere to the ‘Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016’. In particular:

  • Operating without or other than in accordance with an environmental permit (water discharge activity) – Regulation 38(1).
  • Failing to comply with conditions of an environmental permit (water discharge activity) – Regulation 38(2).

They relate to permit breaches and incidents involving the unauthorised discharge of silt from a housing development in Bradford in December 2020 and November 2021.

The offer accepted by the EA was a reactive offer. The actions the offeror has taken or will take are to:

  • Carry out a comprehensive investigation,
  • Replace the silt bag and silt matting,
  • Arrange for the silt to be removed from the base of the storage tank,
  • Put in place measures to protect watercourses,
  • Carry out weekly inspections to ensure silt runoff is being effectively managed,
  • Work closely with its contractors on the Silt Management Plan,
  • Cover the EA’s costs.

The operator will contribute £75,000 to Aire Rivers Trust.

Healthcare product manufacturer will contribute £49,689.54 to Sunnyside Rural Trust

The offences were failure to adhere to ‘Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007’. In particular:

  • Register – Regulation 40(1).
  • Take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste – Regulation 40(1)(b).

The offenses relate to the failure to comply for registration for the years 2011 to 2019 inclusive.

The offer accepted by the EA was a proactive offer. The actions the offeror has taken or will take are to:

  • Register with the Valpak compliance scheme,
  • Assign a responsible person for data submissions,
  • Introduce a new methodology and internal processes,
  • Cover the EA’s costs.

The operator will contribute £49,689.54 to Sunnyside Rural Trust.

Source: Gov.uk

 For the full list, click here

Events

EMS led and CITB accredited: Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme (SEATS)

Delivered in-house at customer sites or remotely over two consecutive days.

EMS provide CITB accredited training on site environmental awareness, ideal for construction site managers, supervisors, and foremen.

The course topics are:

  • Environmental impacts and the issues associated with construction activities,
  • Sustainability,
  • Environmental management systems,
  • Waste management,
  • Pollution prevention and contaminated land,
  • Water management,
  • How to be a good neighbour,
  • Being a responsible contractor.

Source: em-solutions.co.uk

To register, click here

Reviewing Simpler Recycling for Local Authorities

10th July 2024, 12:30 – 13:30 

Local authorities are required to make numerous changes as part of the simpler recycling reforms across England. In this webinar, key stakeholders in the reforms will share their experiences and expertise. They will discuss what changes are planned for local authorities and what has been implemented so far as we prepare for upcoming deadlines.

Join the webinar to hear:

  • the latest update on government announcements to the reforms (including ‘New Burdens Funding’),
    • meeting the deadline for new household waste collections – where to begin,
    • reviewing data and patterns to leverage insights for Simpler Recycling next steps and behaviour change requirements,
    • how to drive behaviour change with all market segments,
    • where clearer guidance is still required to help with implementation.

Source: CIWM

To sign up, click here  

CIRIA: Unearthing the value of soil through collaboration

10th July 2024, 09:30 – 16:30, Bloc, 17 Marble Street, Manchester, M2 3AW

In order for UK to meet the government’s target to achieve sustainable soil management by 2030, the way that soil is managed needs to meet many geotechnical, geoenvironmental, ecological, soil science, soil health, economic and social requirements.

Why should you attend?

  • To understand how to manage soil better with changing climate.
  • Discuss practitioners’ concerns about sustainable soil management.
  • Discover how a local project in Liverpool has used soil successfully according to circular economy principles, is enhancing biodiversity and creating an environment for the local community to enjoy.
  • Look at how soil supports water management (e.g. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)) and combats climate change.
  • Visit Bloc’s award-winning smart roof and understand why the right soil is so important on green roofs.
  • Network with specialists.
  • Earn valuable Continual Professional Development (CPD).

Source: CIRIA website

To register, click here

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