Revised Duty of Care Code of Practice published

A revised waste Duty of Care Code of Practice was published last week following Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) consultation last year.

Published on 11th March on the website in both an online and printable form, the Code of Practice provides guidance on how those who ‘produce, carry, keep, dispose of, treat, import or have control of waste in England and Wales’ can meet their Duty of Care requirements. The Duty of Care is a legal requirement detailed in the Environmental Act 1990 which requires those dealing with certain streams of waste to take all measures deemed reasonable to keep it safe.

The original Code of Practice was published in 1996. The main aim of the revision is to provide clearer guidance on how users can demonstrate their compliance with the waste Duty of Care, and to bring the guidance up to date with a number of important legislative changes relating to the Duty of Care made since its original publication.

Other changes include hyperlinks to other legislative requirements referenced throughout the guidance, an updated section on the need to separate collections of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass and the removal of repetitive sections and details to slim the document down from 60 pages to a more user friendly 13 page guidance.

For further information about the legal requirements of Duty of Care and how it affects your business, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 23.

Download the Code of Practice here.

Catalytic converters reclassified as hazardous waste

The Environment Agency (EA) will shortly announce that catalytic converters containing support mats made of refractory ceramic fibre (RCF) are to be reclassified as hazardous waste.

Duesmann & Hensel RecyclingRCF is classified as a Cat 1B carcinogen with properties similar to asbestos presenting both environmental and health & safety risks. As a result, the EA is withdrawing low risk waste positions (LRWP 362 and LRWP 405). Companies that process catalytic converters will have until 30th May 2016 to apply for and transition to an appropriate environmental permit that allows them to process hazardous waste. Those that fail to do so will be required to cease operations.

End of life vehicle (ELV) sites that store catalytic converters will be required to do so in a way that protects their metal casing and that is in line with hazardous waste regulations. The sites will need to be able to demonstrate that they can identify catalytic converters that contain RCF from those that don’t. If they are unable to do so, all catalytic converters will need to be treated as hazardous waste and handled accordingly.

Read the EA’s catalytic converter guidance and correspondence.

For further information about these new requirements and for assistance with obtaining the correct permits and WAMITAB qualifications, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

Expanding waste incineration and combustion workload

Wiser Environment has seen an upturn in the amount of environmental consultancy work in relation to the incineration and combustion of waste material particularly for small scale combustion and those utilising advanced thermal treatment techniques.

Senior Consultant for Wiser Environment, Ben King said: “Over the last six months we have definitely seen an increase in the level of activity around waste incineration and have advised on incineration or combustion of a range of waste materials including tyres, plastics and poultry litter. This is an evolving area of the waste industry where there is a lack of definitive guidance on the complex regulatory framework which surrounds ‘waste incineration’ and can cause complications. This is particularly the case with gasification plants looking to produce useable products where a thorough appreciation of both the process and regulations are required to avoid costly regulatory delays.”

Wiser Environment has been working closely with leading air quality consultants Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC), developer of the ADMS advanced dispersion model which sets the world standard for air emissions modelling.

In November, Ben spoke to a record attendance of over 50 at an ADMS User Group meeting about the challenges of permitting advanced thermal treatment facilities.