The Waste Framework Directive, which is the primary European legislation for the management of waste, has been revised.
Revisions to the Waste Framework Directive have been implemented in England and Wales through the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 and ancillary legislation in Wales.
Governments are preparing guidance to explain the changes, which are broad in scope and affect all waste producers and managers, including local authorities. Links to this and related guidance will be provided here soon.
What is our role?
We regulate waste activities such as permitted waste transfer, storage and treatment sites, moving hazardous waste, and also register carriers and brokers of waste. Some of the revisions to the Waste Framework Directive will affect these customers. However, many businesses will experience no change and there will be a transition period for many of the changes that are required.
Who does it affect?
If you are responsible for producing, keeping, transporting, recycling, recovering or disposing of waste, then the Directive is likely to apply to you.
What are the main changes?
These are the main changes that will be implemented as part of the new regulations:
The revised Waste Framework Directive places greater emphasis on the waste hierarchy to ensure that waste is dealt with in the priority order of:
- preparing for re-use
- other recovery (for example, energy recovery)
Following the waste hierarchy is good practice which businesses should adopt as a matter of course.
The waste hierarchy is partly implemented through amended Duty of Care requirements from 28 September 2011 and governments will provide guidance on this within the new Code of Practice
Welsh Government will be issuing separate hierachy guidance in due course.
In addition, we will apply the waste hierarchy through a new permit condition for waste facilities. For new permit holders this condition will be applied immediately (in the case of standard rules permits, after consultation). For existing permit holders we will vary permits to include the new condition, where appropriate, when the permits come up for review:
We are currently updating our regulatory position statement on the regulation of revised Waste Framework Directive excluded wastes.
Carriers and brokers
A new waste carrier and broker regime has been introduced, with a two-tier registration system. Waste producers carrying their own waste will need to register as lower tier carriers from the end of 2013.
There have been changes to hazardous waste controls to include a new hazardous property H13 (Sensitization) and changes to consignment note procedures:
Waste Framework Directive - hazardous waste changes (PDF, 87KB)
End of waste regulations
On 9 October 2011, EC Regulation 333/2011 specifying that scrap ferrous and aluminium metals will cease to be waste if they meet certain standards comes into effect. This will result in some changes to the producer responsibility regime for packaging. It may also lead to permitting changes, for example for the storage of processed ferrous scrap, and will allow the materials covered to be exported as non-waste.
The EC is likely to issue regulations on other waste streams in the future:
Frequently asked questions
We have put together some frequently asked questions on the new waste regulations and have divided them into different sections to help you find what you are looking for: