Waste Exemptions are Changing (UK)October 27, 2023
Waste Exemptions are changing (uk)
the government has announced a series of reforms to the Waste Exemptions Regime, including the removal of three of the 10 most abused exemptions, in a bid to crack down on criminals that are using the cover of exemptions to carry out illegal waste activities. What are the implications for your business?
What are Waste Exemptions?
The waste exemptions regime provides a system where certain low risk waste activities can be carried out under a registration scheme and are exempt from the need to hold an environmental permit. Permits can be expensive to apply for and there are annual fees to pay. You may also require a technically competent person to manage the site who has specified qualifications. Applying for an environmental permit is complicated and the Environment Agency can take up to 6 months to determine the application. By registering an exemption, the operator is confirming that they will comply with the limits and conditions of that exemption.
What Waste Exemptions are changing?
- The proposed changes to the waste exemptions regime are focused on stopping crime and poor performance in the waste sector.
- The changes target the 10 most abused waste exemptions, as well as prohibiting waste exemptions on permitted sites and restricting storage limits where multiple waste exemptions are registered on a site.
- The changes affect everyone who operates waste exemption activities.
- As an exemption holder, you must work out what these changes mean for you and act. If you do not, you risk your waste operations becoming illegal.
- U16 – Use of depolluted End of Life Vehicles (ELV) for parts
- T8 – Mechanically treating end of life vehicles
- T9 – Recovering scrap metal
- U1 – Use of waste in construction
- D7 – Burning waste in the open
- T4 – Preparatory treatments such as baling, sorting and shredding
- T6 – Treating waste wood and waste plant matter by chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising
- T12 – Manually treating waste
- S1 – Storing waste in secure containers
- S2 – Storing waste in a secure place
What you need to do next
If you have registered waste exemptions:
- Review your waste exemptions and remove those which are no longer needed – If you need to check what exemptions you currently hold then you can check this using the Environment Agency’s public register.
- Familiarise yourself with the changes and what they mean for your business. You may need to restrict your waste activity, get or vary a permit, or stop altogether
- Don’t have exemptions registered “just in case”
- Ensure you have no duplicate exemptions. You cannot legally register the same exemption twice, and if you do the second registration is invalid
- Don’t register exemptions for storing your own waste, these fit under the non-waste framework directive exemptions
- If you rely on certain low risk waste positions (LRWPs), be aware that some will be incorporated into waste exemptions or withdrawn under the waste exemptions reform
- Contact M&K for assistance