Jun 2, 2016

When is waste deemed waste?

Defra in collaboration with the Environment Agency have published new guidelines regarding the age old question: When is waste deemed waste? 

I always thought when a product or certain materials cease to function and or are no longer fit for purpose, broken etc. they are consigned to waste, not so as I found out when I read the new guidelines published on the 5th May by Defra in collaboration with Environment Agency, Northern Ireland’s Department of the Environment and Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government. All these recognised bodies worked together to clarify the definition of waste, well done I say!

If you are not sure if the materials you are disposing of is/or are classed as waste and or if the waste is subject to waste handling rules, all you need to do is check out the new guidelines just like I have and if like me you find yourself scratching your head asking why have this body of people wasted tax payer’s money and time redefining the most basic question……… when is waste waste???? I genuinely thought I understood the difference between which materials are considered waste and which materials still have a use, thank goodness I read this guidance!

Actually the answer is very simple you just need to:

• decide if your material is waste
• identify when waste rules apply
• find out when waste ceases to be waste
• find out when waste rules do not apply

The new guidance also includes specifics with reference to waste duty of care to which businesses who import, produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of waste must adhere as well as the producer responsibility rules for producers.

The published guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/legal-definition-of-waste-guidance/decide-if-a-material-is-waste-or-not 

Enjoy the read.

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