Landfill laws change next month

At the end of October, rules which govern what can, and what cannot, be sent to landfill will change - with tighter restrictions on a wide range of waste.

The changes are part of the EU-driven Landfill Directive and come into play on October 30. The transition will be regulated by the Environment Agency.

Liz Parkes, Head of Waste at the agency, said: "The changes to the rules mean waste must be treated before it is landfilled, and all liquid wastes will be banned from landfills.

"For businesses who produce or manage waste this means you will have to review how you deal with it. If your waste does go to landfill, check to see if it is already being treated.

"If it isn't you will need to treat it or ensure that your waste management company does this for you. If you produce liquid waste that goes to landfill, you will need to speak to your waste management company about alternative options.

"We've been working to raise awareness of these changes with business and the waste management industry. As well as producing comprehensive guidance, we've working with relevant trade bodies to produce a series of factsheets for specific sectors."

Much of the waste currently sent to landfill is already treated. However for some wastes more effort is needed.

Treatment can be as simple as separating the waste on site, and recycling one or more of the separated components.

The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating landfills, waste and water treatment facilities and large industrial processes.

It will monitor compliance with these new rules during its normal programme of site inspections and detailed audits, as well as during visits to waste producers.

"These changes, which are being introduced under the Landfill Directive, aim to help reduce our dependency on landfill, as well as improve the environmental standards for the wastes that continue to be landfilled," said Ms Parkes.

"Our approach is to concentrate on advising waste producers that they need to adapt their waste management practice. We'll also encourage them to see the opportunity this offers to improve their environmental performance as these changes are for the good of our environment."

For more information about the changes under the Landfill Directive, and to download the guidance and factsheets contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506.

Sam Bond



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