New hazardous waste forum

The Government has announced a new forum to advise on the reduction and safe management of hazardous waste in the UK. The first meeting will occur over the next few weeks.

In the face of forthcoming – and current – legislation on hazardous waste, the forum will consider the demands on industry, and targets for the reduction and recovery of hazardous waste. It is also intended to bring all relevant sectors together to work towards the goals.

Within six months the forum is to have advised on the way ahead over the next five years, and will have to provide a timetable of when key decision have to be made. Other specific objectives include identifying opportunities to reduce the production of hazardous waste, and to recover that which is produced; to consider the impact of new legislation; and to make recommendations about how data collection and analysis could be improved.

“All members must be prepared to enter discussions fully and openly, to provide information on facilities and future plans,” said Secretary of State for the Environment Margaret Beckett, announcing the forum.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), England and Wales produce five million tonnes of hazardous waste every year.

Forthcoming legislation includes European directives on waste electrical and electronic equipment and on the restriction of hazardous substances (see related story). There is also the revised hazardous waste list within the European Waste Catalogue, and the forthcoming Hazardous Waste Regulations to look forward to.

Full members of the forum will be: the British Cement Association, the British Retail Consortium, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the Chemical Industries Association, DEFRA, DTI, the Environment Agency, the Environmental Services Association, Friends of the Earth, the Green Alliance, and the Local Government Association. A number of organisations will also be corresponding members. These include the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Waste Group, the Confederation of British Industry, and the Scottish Executive.

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