Defra consults on hazardous waste exemptions

Defra has confirmed proposals for changes to existing waste management licensing exemptions involving hazardous waste, which are now out for full consultation.

The proposed revised exemptions cover the management of a range of hazardous wastes from solvents and treated wood to paint and medical waste.

They include additional requirements on the storage of hazardous wastes, which include improved storage conditions and monitoring procedures. In other cases exemptions have been streamlined or


The proposed changes aim to bring the UK in line with the EU’s Hazardous Waste Directive.

Defra says these additional requirements are in keeping with the need for more specific rules to encourage recovery of waste, to better protect the environment and human health.

For example, the storage of 10,000 litres of certain hazardous and non hazardous paint for up to 6 months has been added to facilitate paint collection schemes that redistribute collected paint to community groups.

The proposed changes would affect England and Wales. Similar changes to the waste management licensing exemptions relating to hazardous waste in Scotland are being considered, and will be the subject of a separate consultation.

All exemptions relating to hazardous waste which are affected by the proposals must be registered with the Environment Agency.

The consultation is subject to the full 12 week consultation, and comments on the proposals are invited by 16 December.

By Sam Bond

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