Overhaul for waste carriers and brokers regime

A two-tier system for the registration of waste carriers and brokers is set to come into operation in England and Wales next April, the Environment Department (DEFRA) has announced

The announcement came last Friday in consultation documents on changes to the duty of care regime and controls over waste carriers and brokers.

A preliminary consultation in 2006 said the current “one size fits all” regime for waste carriers and brokers was not working and suggested options for its overhaul.

The latest document, which includes draft regulations, says DEFRA will introduce a two-tier registration system based on risk posed to the environment. Low risk carriers such as charities, councils and companies that carry their own waste will have to apply for a registered exemption from permitting only once and pay a small charge.

Waste brokers and traders, plus high risk carriers such as those that carry others’ waste, will have to pay annual renewal fees. The Agency will assess their application annually, verifying the applicant’s identity and address and looking at previous convictions.

DEFRA hopes the checks will reduce the likelihood of carriers obtaining licences using false information and so help reduce fly-tipping.

The consultation also puts forward ways to make it easier for the Environment Agency to revoke or refuse registrations, and introduces several new offences such as the provision of false or misleading information on a carrier or broker application form.

DEFRA intends to increase the maximum fine for waste carrier and broker offences from £5,000 to £10,000. This would also apply to all duty of care offences under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

A second consultation document was issued on strengthening the powers of the Agency and local authorities in relation to seizing vehicles suspected of involvement in fly-tipping.