Industry advised on cleaning its rubbish

Industry is to be told what it needs to do to make its landfill waste safe under new laws and how it might meet the stricter new requirements before they come into force this autumn.

Under the EU’s environmentally-motivated Landfill Directive, due to be fully adopted in the UK on October 30 this year, no liquid waste can be legally dumped in landfill sites and some types of untreated waste currently accepted by sites will need to be processed before it will be allowed through the gates.

These changes will have a significant impact on how industry can deal with its waste, but the blow can be softened by early action and preparation.

On Thursday, February 1 the Environment Agency published new guidance to help business and industry meet the changes to the regulations.

The guidance has been split into two parts, with the first outlining the requirements of the regulations while the second suggests alternative waste management options available to affected industries.

The agency has also set up a page on its website with links to the guidance and other information explaining legislative changes for waste managers.

“Waste treatment is good for the environment, as it encourages the recycling of waste and reduces the impact of the waste we send to landfill,” said Liz Parkes, head of waste at the EA.

“Much of the waste we send to landfill is already treated, however for some wastes more effort is needed. Treatment can simply be separating the waste on site, and recycling one or more of the separated components.

“There are many easy ways to treat waste and deliver real environmental improvements. If you are a waste producer, now is a good time to review how you manage your waste, including whether it needs to be produced at all.

“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.

“It’s also an ideal opportunity for waste producers and landfill operators to discuss how they need to adapt to these changes and take more responsibility for their waste.

“We will continue to encourage this dialogue as these new rules bed in after October. Rather than having our staff standing at the entrance to landfill sites checking individual loads, our focus will be on helping business to improve the way they manage their waste.”

Sam Bond

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