Changes to Hazardous Waste Regulations

Cutting down on paperwork

Posted on: 02/03/2016   By: Lee Rance

From 1 April 2016, businesses producing or holding hazardous waste won’t have to register their premises. This will affect consignment notes, consignee returns and the records you have to keep.

The main reason for instigating this change is the result of the Governments ‘Red Tape Challenge’ to reduce the regulatory burden on business.

By Lilly_M [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Lilly_M [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:

By eliminating the need to register with us these changes will reduce the regulatory burden on business and the use of the revised consignee information will help ensure that we can continue to trace hazardous waste back to its source.

The two key changes being made to the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2005/894 include:

  • hazardous waste producers will no longer need to notify their premises with the Environment Agency; and
  • a change in the unique consignment note code which appears on every consignment note.

Those who produce or store more than 500kg or more of hazardous waste per year will no longer need to register their premises with the Environment Agency. However you must hold a valid registration up until 1 April 2016 when these changes take effect. The changes apply only to England at the moment.

The format of the consignment note will also change to accommodate the removal of premises registration, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste you produce, store or handle.

The government’s Red Tape Challenge, which was launched in April 2011, is reviewing more than 21,000 regulations and rules to see which ones can be scrapped or improved thereby reducing bureaucratic barriers to growth and productivity within specific sectors.

So far the Red Tape Challenge has had some big successes:

  • Over 2,400 regulations scrapped through the Red Tape Challenge
  • Saving home builders and councils around £100m by reducing 100s of locally applied housing standards to 5 national standards
  • £90m annual savings to business from Defra reducing environmental guidance by over 80%
  • Businesses with good records have had fire safety inspections reduced from 6 hours to 45 minutes, allowing managers to quickly get back to their day job.
  • Childcare providers now have to read 33 pages of need to know guidance instead of wading through over 1,100 pages.

In December 2014 Business Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced the government’s war on red tape has saved business £10 billion over the previous 4 years. A continued red tape drive could deliver a total £20 billion of savings by 2020, by scrapping even more pointless regulations.

Until next time.

Lee Rance