Scottish environment watchdog brushes up on waste paint regulations

Community groups will now be able to mix waste paints for reuse thanks to new guidelines issued by Scotland's environmental watchdog.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published an interim position statement declaring not-for-profit organisation need not apply for a licence to mix non-hazardous waste paint for reuse.

The statement says: "There is currently no specific exemption for the bulking up or mixing of waste paint. However, SEPA would not wish to discourage the reuse and wider benefits to society and the economy that are offered by these community activities.

"Accordingly, until such time as a suitable exemption is enacted, SEPA will not, at present, seek groups who are not for profit organisations to hold a Waste Management Licence for the mixing of non-hazardous waste paint.

"This interim position does not preclude taking enforcement action where harm may be, or is, caused to the environment or human health."

The statement clarifies the regulations around the storage and reuse of waste paint and reiterates its support for the practice.

"SEPA is supportive of the activities of community recycling groups," the statement says. "Community groups perform a valuable service in encouraging the reuse and recycling of items that might otherwise be disposed of to landfill."

The storage and beneficial use of non-hazardous waste paint is normally an exempt activity under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations.

Community groups which store waste paint for reuse need only register their exemption with SEPA, which can be done online and free of charge.

But mixing waste paints for reuse has not been exempt from waste management licence requirements until now.

Maureen Menzies, of RePaint Scotland, which collects and stores waste paints from households, businesses and DIY store end-of-lines, welcomed the move.

She said: "This is welcome news indeed. It is not only a tremendous cost saving for RePaint Scotland but means we can go ahead and bulk up our recycled paint, as can those other organisations who want to top up half full tins, knowing that we are all compliant with SEPA regulations."

The storage and mixing of waste paint that is labelled as hazardous and is therefore special waste remains a licensable activity.

Community groups unsure if their activities are affected by waste management licensing regulations should contact their SEPA for guidance.

For the full position statement visit this link

David Gibbs




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