5 May 2016

New Defra guidance on what is waste!

If you are the producer or holder of a material and you’re unsure whether it’s a waste or not, you can use the new Defra guidance to assess the status of your material (a material can include any substance or object). The main rules that Defra have mentioned that need to consider regarding specific waste material are:

Decide if your material is waste

A material is considered to be waste when the producer or holder discards it, intends to discard it, or is required to discard it.

When assessing whether a material is waste or not, discarding doesn’t simply mean throwing away or getting rid of something. Discarding also covers activities and operations such as recycling and recovery operations, which put waste material back to good use.

Identify when waste rules apply

If a material is waste you must follow the relevant waste rules, for example, the:

  • Waste duty of care if you import, produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of waste
  • Environmental permitting rules if you handle, store or treat waste
  • Producer responsibility rules if you produce packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and end of life vehicles
  • Waste import and export rules if you are importing or exporting waste

When waste ceases to be waste

If a material is waste, waste rules apply when it undergoes a recovery operation, such as preparation for reuse or recycling, or a disposal operation.

Where do waste rules not apply

If you don’t follow the rules that apply to your waste the environmental regulator may take enforcement action against you.

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