Waste sector associations have called for a “smart” national campaign aimed at householders to make them aware of their responsibilities when it comes to disposing of waste.
The calls come in response to Defra’s duty of care (DoC) consultation, launched last month (see letsrecycle.com story), on proposals to introduce a new penalty for householders who breach their duty of care in relation to fly-tipping.
If approved, the proposals would give local authorities the power to issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to householders who are found to have failed in their duty of care to ensure that waste is not illegally dumped.
UROC which represents independent waste operators in the skip hire and waste recycling sector has said it is “very concerning” that householders are unlikely to be familiar with the terminology used when it comes to DoC.
The trade body has called for a “smart” awareness raising campaign to be launched in advance of local authorities implementing and enforcing FPNs.
However, UROC claims that it would be “over-burdensome” to expect a businesses to provide a copy of authorisation to either carry and/or accept waste, as suggested in the document.
This would be “highly unlikely to work in practice due to the fact that it would require the householder to be present at the property when a skip was delivered, which is not always possible, or have access to email for electronic copies to be sent to them,” UROC said.
And, the trade body says it “strongly advocated” the introduction of a ‘Waste Safe’ online platform for householders to check compliant and legitimate operators.
UROC claims it has “effectively ‘done the job’ on behalf of householders that use skip hire and waste collection businesses,” as the association requires its members to provide their relevant authorisations, and conducts “due diligence” on each new member.
Comparatively, the Environmental Services Association (ESA), emphasised the importance that requirements are “clearly communicated to householders, where currently awareness is very low”.
But, ESA also took the opportunity to clarify that using a registered waste carrier does not “provide any guarantee” that waste will be managed correctly or legally.
ESA called for the current carriers, brokers, dealers (CBD) regime to increase the requirements and standards for becoming a CBD.
“Reforms should require CBDs to demonstrate competence, and that they understand their responsibilities and the role they need to play in securing legal compliance and preventing waste crime,” ESA said.
The association points to its own ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign and Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Crime not to Care’ as initiatives to support in order to raise awareness.
A similar response came from local authority organisation, LARAC, which said information for householders needs to be easy to understand and succinct.
LARAC recommends that householder duty of care requirements/advice should be provided as a separate document or a specific householder supplement developed. By including
it as a subsection in the general Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice “it could be easily overlooked by a householder,” LARAC said.
The organisation also shared the view that that the CoP could be “overwhelming” for many householders with no waste knowledge due to the terminology used.
“Provision of standardised information and templates at a national level would assist local authorities to contribute to promoting a national campaign.”
And, LARAC said it is “essential” this Code of Practice is supported by a National awareness raising campaign “to ensure householders are sufficiently aware they have a Duty of Care requirement when disposing of waste”.
“Provision of standardised information and templates at a national level would assist local authorities to contribute to promoting a national campaign,” LARAC said.
Meanwhile, a response from the Herfordshire Fly Tipping Group (FTG) and its parent body the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, called for a general ban on the use of cash transactions for waste collection and disposal.
“The FTG considers this will go a significant way to disrupting typical chains of events that lead to Duty of Care breaches. Following such a change the offer of a cash option as part of a waste transaction would be a clear ‘indicator’ of illegal and unlicenced activity,” a covering letter by group chairman, Duncan Jones, said.
FTG also suggests that it should be possible to update the Environment Agency’s website to provide an “online checking tool” that would allow users to check licence details for both waste carriers and waste disposal sites.
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Source: letsrecycle.com Waste Managment