Update on the changes to Hazardous Waste Regulations
From last week (1st April 2016) changes to Hazardous Waste Regulations have come into force. While relatively minor, the changes will affect thousands of businesses and organisations across the country.
The move is designed to reduce the burden on companies already affected by the regulations. There are a number of key updates, which include a reduction in the paperwork required and a change to the formatting of consignment notes.
The environment agency have been proactive in contacting companies who were previously required to register their premises (if they produced over 500kg of hazardous waste). The removal of this requirement will save affected companies at least £18 per year, which I am sure will have a significant effect on budgeting - the associated time saved and reduction in hassle must be applauded however.
New guidance has also appeared on the gov.uk website (as of 1st April 2016), however as always when legislation is updated, there is a risk that not everyone is aware of the changes. As ignorance is never an excuse in these situations, and any breaches will ultimately be the producer’s responsibility, some organisations may be caught out. A summary of the changes are:
- If you produce or store 500kg or more of hazardous waste per year you now NO LONGER need to register your premises with the Environment Agency.
- These changes only apply to England. It does not affect premises in Wales who should continue to register with Natural Resources Wales.
Consignment note code format
A completed consignment note must accompany hazardous waste when moved from any premises. On 1st April 2016, the consignment note and the way you fill it in will change:
- To accommodate the removal of premises registration, the format of the consignment note code will change on 1 April 2016 regardless of the amount of hazardous waste you produce, store or handle.
- If waste is produced in England, you need to amend the first six characters of your consignment note code (currently the premises registration number), replacing them with the first six letters or numbers (not symbols) of the business name. The producer should ensure consistent use of the organisation name in this regard.
- ‘EXEMPT’ is no longer used.
- The second set of characters will continue to be five numbers or letters of your choosing. This may, in a few specified occasions, be followed by an additional letter.
- If you are receiving waste from Wales into England, you should not change the consignment note code. Welsh producers will still be required to register their premises with Natural Resources Wales and use this is their consignment note number. If the waste is moved from England into Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from 1 April 2016 the consignment note code will need to use the new format.
If you require any clarification on these changes, or you have other questions about waste management, please contact us on 01403 269375.