Firms Obliged to Declare Waste Disposal Process in Full

Access guidance on applying the Waste Management HierarchyBusinesses must declare in their ‘waste transfer note’ (WTN) that they have taken steps to minimise waste and prepare for its safe disposal, under reforms introduced on 28 September.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has warned businesses that they must be able to demonstrate in their WTN that they have applied the Waste Management Hierarchy in full.

The hierarchy is a series of waste-management options businesses must follow to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to minimise waste and prepare for its safe onward disposal.

“The hierarchy gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place,”

said an Environment Agency (EA) spokesman.

“Businesses are obliged to gear their processes to the reuse, recycling and recovery of materials — disposal to landfill being the last resort.”

Businesses which have their waste collected by their local council are already obliged to send a WTN with their waste contract. Those on a council waste season ticket can wait until renewal before sending a new WTN.

The EA warned that firms which are judged to have fallen short of the obligations could face prosecution.

Forum of Private Business spokesman Phil McCabe said that the reforms were just another administrative burden for small firms.

“Nearly £17 billion is generated annually in compliance costs in the UK. These new regulations seem likely to add to that bill at a time when businesses are struggling with other financial pressures.”

Further regulations are set to be introduced on 1 January 2015 when new requirements for the separation of paper, metal, glass and plastic waste come into force.

“Waste producers might like to start thinking now about the measures they can take to ensure separation of these waste materials.”

added the EA spokesperson.

Small Firms Obliged to Declare Waste Disposal Process in Full

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