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26 July 2005

Fly-tipping danger from new rules on hazardous waste

Reference number: P2005/48

The FSB revealed today that it has written to Baroness Young, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency (EA) to warn that hazardous waste regulations that came into force earlier this month are in danger of sparking a marked increase in fly-tipping.

Amongst the 200 items re-classified as hazardous under regulations introduced on 16 July are waste paint, waste oil, computer monitors, fluorescent tubes, televisions, and batteries.

The new rules come hot on the heels of legislation that slashed the number of landfill sites licensed to accept hazardous waste from 240 to fewer than 15.  The remaining sites are not evenly distributed with none across the south of England.*

The FSB is concerned that this leaves small firms open to exploitation by unlicensed waste contractors and that fly-tipping could escalate as a result.

John Holbrow, FSB Environment Chairman said:

“Because so many everyday items have been re-classified as hazardous, many small firms now produce hazardous waste.  These businesses are having to consider how they manage waste for the first time and many have found that there are no landfill sites that accept hazardous waste for hundreds of miles around.”

”With 200 new hazardous items and fewer landfill sites licensed to accept hazardous waste, the cost of disposal is set to rocket.  The danger is that the added cost and the need to register with the EA could result in businesses seeking cheaper and possibly illegal disposal routes.  Fly – tipping could escalate as a result.”
The FSB’s letter also raises concerns about the lack of awareness of the new rules and flaws in the Environment Agency’s system for registering the producers of hazardous waste.

John Holbrow said:

“Many small businesses are still in the dark about the changes.  Those that did try and fulfil their obligations found it impossible to register via the internet or phone in the two weeks running up to the 16 July deadline.**

“The key to easing the shock of new regulations is raising awareness and making compliance straight forward and cost effective.  The Environment Agency has not performed well in these areas so far.”