Increasing gate fees and tougher targets on diverting waste from landfill bring with them the risk of a rise in fly-tipping as unscrupulous traders seek to dodge their responsibilities.

The consultation launched this week aims to simplify and modernise the legislation that applies to the waste duty of care, registration of waste carriers and registration and control of waste brokers.

The review aims to cut waste crime, such as fly tipping, and remove the blight this can have on affected communities. Businesses need to act responsibly – to understand and comply with the regulations. Defra also want to make the legislation easier for the enforcing authorities to use, along with the introduction of more flexible penalties for waste offences.

According to the department the principle of the waste duty of care is fundamental to the safe transport and disposal of waste and it is paramount that this principle is both widely understood and promotes compliance.

Controls on waste carriers and waste brokers are also important ways of ensuring that people and businesses are passing their waste onto companies and individuals who will deal with it responsibly.

Launching the consultation Ben Bradshaw, the Minister with responsibility for waste issues, said: “A major barrier to the realisation of sustainable waste management is waste crime and the illegal disposal of waste.

“This is already a significant problem, which has a notable effect on the quality of life in many communities. As regulations tighten and traditional waste disposal facilities reduce in number, the temptation for a minority to act outside the law may increase.

“We need to produce less waste in the first place, think differently about ways in which we can reuse waste and have a more joined-up approach to waste management.”

The review will consider existing offences and whether any additional ones are necessary, for example, to prevent forgery or the mis-description of waste, existing penalties, whether they are sufficient or need to be amended and whether different kinds or more flexible penalties could and should be introduced.

It will also look at whether the links between controls could or should be strengthened, such as those between the duty of care and the Transfrontier Shipment of waste and between the controls on waste carriers and other offences for the illegal disposal of waste.

The consultation papers can be found on the Defra Website.

Sam Bond

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