Separate business waste collections

Back in 2011, Regulations 13 & 14 of the Waste Regulations required that from 1st January 2015, all waste collection authorities must make arrangements for the separate collection of dry recyclates of waste glass, paper, plastic and metal, the implication being that businesses would have to separately store these wastes at source. The regulations did however permit comingling of these wastes in a single container for collection and separation elsewhere, rather than requiring four separate containers for these waste streams.

However, Regulation 13 was amended and clarified in Regulation 2(4) of the Waste (England & Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1889) as follows:

“The duties in this regulation apply where separate collection—

(a) is necessary to ensure that waste undergoes recovery operations in accordance with Articles 4 and 13 of the Waste Framework Directive and to facilitate or improve recovery; and

(b) is technically, environmentally and economically practicable.

So, where an existing waste collection service already includes suitable waste segregation and recovery processes, such as construction waste going to a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) which will probably report in excess of 95% recovery, separation at source and separate collections are not “necessary to ensure that waste undergoes recovery operations” and is not required under current legislation. However, if a waste collection authority has previously collected mixed waste and simply taken it to a disposal site (landfill, incinerator, etc) without any further segregation, segregation at source and separate collection is now required – provided of course that this is “technically, environmentally and economically practicable“.

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