An Introduction to Waste

An Introduction to Waste
Phil Ball
Waste Officer
• Why Manage Waste?
– Legal compliance
– Economic value
– Environmental value
• Background to Waste Management
– Introduction
– Roles and responsibilities
• What is Waste?
– Key legal definitions for HEIs
– Classification of waste
– European waste catalogue (EWC)
• Legislation
– Introduction
– Requirements of the Environmental Protection Act
– Requirements of the Environmental Protection (Duty
of Care) Regulations 1991
• Waste transfer processes
• Site Waste Management Plans
• Summary
Why Manage Waste?
• Legal Compliance
– Increases in the fines imposed by the courts for waste
management offences
– High level of publicity surrounding a number of recent
– Universities and colleges are no exception.
– A number of universities have already received warnings in
relation to waste management offences.
Why Manage Waste?
• Economic Value
– Landfill tax increases every year.
– We produce over 2500 tonnes of
waste annually.
– Add service costs to this and
landfill becomes very expensive!
Tax per tonne
– Recycling take back schemes exist for certain types of waste
(e.g. batteries & flourescent tubes). Signing up to these can also
save a lot of money.
Why Manage Waste?
• Environmental Value
– The environmental impacts associated with waste mainly
result from its disposal. Waste minimisation reduces the
environmental damage caused.
– Raw materials have a finite supply – waste can be used as
a resource.
– Emphasis of waste management policy at a National and
European level is on reducing the amount of waste
produced and keeping materials in circulation for as long
as possible.
Background to Waste Management
It is important to have a basic understanding of
what waste is and to be aware of the types of
waste stream that you are likely to encounter.
How waste is classified is largely based on its
properties, but there are a series of legal
definitions which you will need to be familiar
with if we are going to manage our waste
effectively in line with statutory requirements.
Background to Waste Management
Roles and Responsibilities
• Waste Producer
– The person who made the substance become waste e.g. by
breaking or contaminating it.
– The person who decided that a substance was unwanted
and therefore waste.
Our Duty of Care is to make sure waste leaves our site legally.
Background to Waste Management
• The Environment Agency
– As waste regulator, the Environment Agency has
responsibility for enforcing waste management
– This includes the licensing of sites and waste
carriers and ensuring compliance with legislation.
Background to Waste management
• Waste Carriers
– Waste carriers must be licensed to carry waste on
behalf of the waste producer
– Shanks, who take the vast majority of the
University’s waste, are an example of a licensed
waste carrier
Background to Waste Management
• Waste Disposal Authorities
– Local authorities are also responsible as Waste
Disposal Authorities (WDAs) for ensuring the provision
of disposal facilities in their area for controlled waste.
– Since 1990, these facilities must be run either by the
private sector or by a Local Authority Waste Disposal
Company (LAWDC) rather than by the local authority
What is Waste?
• Legal Definition of Waste
‘Anything which you decide to, or are required to,
throw away.’
What is Waste
Key legal definitions for HEIs
– Waste that is defined as household, industrial or commercial
waste, including special and clinical waste.
– The University could be classified as a producer of household
and commercial waste.
– Any waste consisting wholly or partly of tissue, body fluids,
excretions, drugs or other pharmaceutical products, swabs or
dressings, or sharp instruments, being waste which unless
rendered safe may prove hazardous or infectious to any person
coming into contact with it.
What is Waste?
– Controlled waste that, because of its properties, requires special treatment
and control.
– Radioactive waste is defined in the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 as any
waste which:
• consists wholly or partly of substance which would otherwise be classified as a
radioactive material
• any substance contaminated by a radioactive material or radioactive waste.
– It should be noted that some radioactive waste may also be classified as
hazardous/special waste.
What is Waste
• Classification of waste
– Most of the materials discarded from FHE establishments are classified as
controlled waste. The management and disposal of controlled waste is
principally regulated by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
What is Waste?
• The European Waste Catalogue (EWC)
– The European Waste Catalogue contains a
hierarchical list of waste descriptions, each of
which is assigned a numeric code.
– The Waste Management Licensing Regulations
1994 contain a list of substances and objects that
are legally considered to be waste.
• Introduction
– Waste management in the UK is controlled by legislation that is
driven by and transposes European Directives and Regulations.
– The UK national controls on waste originated from the Control
of Pollution Act 1974 and were strengthened by the
introduction of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
– Operational legislation covers the disposal, storage, treatment,
recycling and transport of waste.
– Administration legislation controls storage, registration,
licensing, monitoring and record keeping.
– While on site, waste must be stored in such a way as to prevent it from
causing damage to the environment or posing a risk to human health.
– When disposing of waste, check that it is being disposed of at a properly
licensed/permitted site and in accordance with the conditions of the
licence/permit for that site.
– Ask to see a copy of the operating licence/permit and conditions for the site to
which your waste is taken.
– It is also the responsibility of the producer of the waste to ensure that enough
information about the nature of the waste is provided to ensure that
licence/permit conditions are met.
– Section 34 of the EPA 90 imposes a Duty of Care on all those who import,
produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste.
• Ensure that your waste is properly stored while on the premises
and that it is adequately packaged for transportation. The Duty of
Care requires that waste be kept safe against:
– Corrosion and wear of waste containers
– Accidental spillage or leaking
– Accident or weather breaking contained waste open and allowing it to
– Waste blowing away while stored or transported e.g. open skips
– Scavenging of waste by vandals, thieves, children, trespassers or
• It should be remembered that the Duty of
Care applies to all controlled waste including
materials sent for recovery, reuse and
– All waste must be accurately labelled and,
– Accompanied by an accurate description of the
Arrangements for the transfer of waste
• Select an authorised person to take the waste. Waste,
including materials collected for recycling, must only
be transferred to an authorised person, i.e.
– A Waste Collection Authority.
– A Registered Waste Carrier or an Exempt Waste Carrier.
– A holder of a Waste Disposal or Waste Management
Licence or persons exempt from the need for a licence.
• Where waste is passed on to an intermediate transferee it is
prudent to check that the waste is being disposed of in an
appropriate manner.
– As a minimum, find out from your waste carrier how and where your
waste will be disposed of.
• Complete a Transfer Note for the waste and ensure that it is signed
by the waste carrier. The responsibility to ensure that a Transfer
Note is completed lies with the waste producer. The description of
the waste and the Transfer Note must be handed over with the
waste and must accompany the consignment.
• Ensure that a copy of the transfer note and corresponding waste
description are kept for 2 years.
Site waste management plans (SWMP)
– Construction projects over £300,000 must have a basic
– Construction projects over £500,000 must have a detailed
• Breach of the Regulations is an offence punishable
– (a) on summary conviction, by a fine not exceeding
£50,000, or
– (b) on conviction on indictment, by a fine.
• If something is deemed to be surplus to requirements, it is waste.
• Waste must be kept under reasonable control whilst on site.
• Waste must be disposed of with a licensed company/individual –
checking this is the responsibility of the waste producer.
• A waste transfer note must accompany each consignment of waste
and be kept on file for 2 years (send a copy to the Waste Officer for
• If in doubt, consult the Waste Officer!!
Common Waste Licences
• Waste Carrier’s Licence
– Any person/company who transports waste between sites
requires a WCL
• Waste Broker’s Licence
– Any person/company who sub-contracts waste removal
requires a WBL
• Environmental Permit (waste management licence –
– Any site that carries out waste disposal or recovery
activities requires a Permit e.g. a waste transfer station
Thank you
Any questions?
If in doubt, seek Phil out…

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