Wiser speaking at waste industry fire prevention conference

Wiser Environment’s Andrew Lake will be speaking at the Fire Prevention and Control in the Waste and Recycling Industry Conference next week.

A fire taking holdOrganised by Let’s Recycle and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), the conference involves speakers from all the key stakeholders involved in preventing fires in the waste and recycling sector.

Senior Consultant, Andrew, leads on fire prevention plans for Wiser Environment. Prior to joining Wiser, Andrew was employed in several regulatory roles within the EA including two years as a Fire Prevention Plan Technical Specialist, assessing and advising on plans. Having worked on fire prevention plans from both agency and client side, Andrew has a unique understanding of the practical challenges and regulatory requirements that the waste and recycling industry faces.

Andrew says: “This conference provides a unique opportunity to hear from the major stakeholders involved in preventing fires in the waste industry. I’ll be speaking about the challenges faced by waste operators trying to balance the need for practical and cost effective ways to minimise their risk of fire whilst ensuring that fire prevention plans are approved by the EA.”

Andrew will be speaking alongside representations from the NFCC, the regulators, insurers, local authorities and site operators. The conference aims to share best practice on fire prevention and help collaboration to reduce the incidence of fire in the waste industry which is seen to not only damages individual sites but the reputation of the whole industry.

Andrew spoke on fire prevention plans in the metals recycling and end-of-life vehicle sector earlier this year at the Let’s Recycle organised Complete Auto Recycling Show and Metal Recycling Event.

Wiser Environment has extensive experience preparing fire prevention plans for a wide range of waste management facilities helping them protect their businesses and minimise the risk of fires. Find out more about our fire prevention plan services.

Find out more about Fire Prevention and Control in the Waste and Recycling Industry which takes place in London on 7th November 2018.

EA consultation proposes penalties for poor performers

The Environment Agency (EA) has launched its latest consultation on permit compliance proposing stringent financial penalties for poor performers.

Wiser Environnment permits and consents iconThe consultation, opened mid-September, proposes changes to how permit compliance is assessed and scored to make it clearer and more consistent. The move follows industry feedback that the current Compliance Classification Scheme introduced in 2013 is complex and doesn’t accurately reflect the risks associated with a site.

The main proposed changes are:

  • Consolidation of compliance scores relating to more than one Emission Limit Value (ELV) within the same reporting period; and
  • Where compliances scores are consolidated, the highest CCS score will be applied.

The EA also proposes to give further explanation in its guidance on the outcome of a compliance assessment.

The proposals would be the EA’s first steps to implementing its new strategic approach ‘Performance Based Regulation’ where well-run, fully compliant and lower risk sites can benefit from lower subsistence charges. Conversely, poor performers and high risk waste operations and installations would be subject to greater financial penalties.

The consultation ends on 29th October 2018. The EA proposes to introduce any revisions from 1 January 2019 at the start of the compliance year. This will not affect subsistence charges for waste operations and installations until 2020.

Download the consultation document and participate in the consultation here.

Wiser Recycling opens new WEEE facility

Our sister company, Wiser Recycling, has opened a new Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF) in Thetford, South West Norfolk this summer for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from across the East of  England.

Wiser Recycling's new facility for waste electrical and electronic equipment in ThetfordThe site greatly expands Wiser Recycling’s processing capacity and ability to meet the requirements of their wide range of clients – from businesses, charities and waste management companies to local authorities and compliance schemes,

With a focus on maximising reuse as well as recycling, the new 30,000 sq ft facility contains an extensive testing and repair area. Currently separating fridges, TV and gaming equipment for reuse, the company aims to imminently expand to include large appliances and certain small appliances.

Wiser Recycling’s existing Norfolk recycling operations have been relocated from Hockwold including their lamp recycling plant, TV dismantling and a cathode ray tube (CRT) line for monitors and television screens. The company also plans to install a new small appliance process, flat screen TV plant and confidential electronic data destruction.

Managing Director Russell Hirst says: “We are delighted to announce the opening of this new facility. It gives us a great space to expand our reuse and recycling capabilities and the potential to grow our East of England business. We have always taken a novel approach to processing and now with the first phase of development completed, we are exploring new, creative ways to further maximise the financial, environmental and social value of the materials and components we process.”

Find out more about the facility here.

Tight deadline for transition to revised PAS100 standard

Earlier this month PAS 100:2018, the revised standard for specification for compost material, was published. With an implementation deadline of 31st December 2018, businesses have less than three months to transition from PAS 100:2011 that it replaces.

The key changes to the PAS 100 include:

  • PAS 100:2018 introduces a new ‘compost quality’ clause to make clearer the existing requirements to produce compost that is fit-for-purpose (suitable for intended use). Any quality requirements that are more stringent or wider ranging than the minimum baseline quality requirements specified in the PAS must be checked and agreed with customers in writing.
  • The revised standard for specification for compost material requires a team approach to developing a Safety and Quality Control System (SQCS).
  • The previous Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) section of PAS 100:2011 has been re-written to extend the requirements. PAS 100:2018 requires producers to set up a SQCS to consider hazards affecting quality, as well as safety, relevant to the intended use of the compost. This also relates to the new ‘compost quality’ clause.
  • PAS 100:2018 requires compost to be reassessed for compliance with the requirements of the ‘compost quality’ clause when stored for a period of six months or longer.
  • The dispatch of sampled batches of compost for use is restricted until after the test results have been checked for conformance to PAS 100.

All operators will be audited against the new PAS 100:2018 from 1st January 2019. For assistance to transition from PAS 100:2011 contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

EA introduces time and material charges

From today (1st October 2018), the Environment Agency will be charging time and materials following a pollution incident, for assessing information submitted to meet a permit condition and for sites of high public interest.

Satisfying permit conditions

We understand from the Environment Agency (EA) that they plan to charge for assessment of information submitted to satisfy permit condition requirements, something which operators are likely to feel should be covered by the annual subsistence fee.

They are also expected to charge to assess or approve information submitted by the operator to meet a condition in their permit – for example if you need to produce an odour management plan or fire prevention plan after your permit has been issued.

Rates and fee structure

The time and material charges are part of the EA’s new fee structure for which other new charges came into force on 1st April 2018. The changes are designed to enable the regulator to charge for the cost of regulatory activity.

When charging for time and materials the EA estimates how much work is required to assess a permit application or regulate that activity. The operator is invoiced for the number of hours based on the EA’s new set hourly rate – £100 per hour in this case. This rate allows for the cost of support staff and overheads and must be paid before the application is determined.

Sites of high public interest

The EA has singled out sites of high public interest due to the propensity for these sites to require greater levels of assessment over longer periods of time. Sites of high environmental, legal or political interest, deemed to include hydraulic fracturing for onshore oil and gas exploration as well as energy-from-waste, also often generate extensive media coverage and require additional public consultation.

For more information about EA fees, visit the Government website or contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.