Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 came into force on 29 March 2011 and implemented the revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98, which sets requirements for the collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste.

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 affect all types of businesses that deal with waste, particularly affect businesses that:

  • produce waste
  • import or export waste
  • carry or transport waste
  • keep or store waste
  • treat waste
  • dispose of waste
  • operate as waste brokers or dealers.

In summary the Regulations:

  • require businesses to confirm that they have applied the waste management hierarchy when transferring waste and to include a declaration on their waste transfer note or consignment note;
  • introduce a two-tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, which includes those who carry their own waste, and introduces a new concept of a waste dealer;
  • make amendments to hazardous waste controls and definition;
  • exclude some categories of waste from waste controls, notably animal by-products whilst include a small number of radioactive waste materials.

The waste management hierarchy sets out, in order of priority, the options businesses should consider when dealing with waste and it clearly places more emphasis on waste prevention:

  • prevention
  • preparing for re-use
  • recycling
  • recovery
  • disposal

From 28 September 2011, whenever you pass waste on to someone else, you will have to declare on the waste transfer note, or consignment note for hazardous waste, that you have applied the waste management hierarchy.

The new Regulations also introduce a two tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, plus the new concept of a waste dealer.

If your business carries, brokers or deals in other people’s controlled waste then you need to register as an upper tier carrier or broker, unless you are in one of the lower tier categories listed below. Controlled waste includes commercial, industrial, household and hazardous waste.

You also need to register as an upper tier carrier if you carry your own construction or demolition waste.

An organisation can register as a lower tier carrier only if it carries brokers or deals in:

  • animal by-products
  • waste from mines and quarries
  • waste from agricultural premises.

In addition, a waste collection, disposal or regulation authority and a charity or voluntary organisation that carries, brokers or deals in other people’s waste are now required to register as a lower tier carrier even if they were previously exempt from waste carrier registration.

From December 2013 organisations that normally and regularly carry controlled waste produced by their own business will also need to register as a lower tier carrier

Registration as a lower tier carrier, broker or dealer is free and lasts indefinitely, unless it is revoked or withdrawn.

Furthermore, the new Regulations make amendments to the hazardous waste controls and introduce a new category of ‘sensitising’.

Some categories of waste are now excluded from waste controls.

Waste controls no longer apply to activities dealing only with excluded wastes. For example, land spreading animal by-products are no longer subject to waste controls.

The Regulations place a greater burden on organisations as to how they manage their waste and encourage organisations to work towards achieving a more sustainable environment.

Businesses should review their waste management policies and put in place additional procedures to ensure compliance with these Regulations.