Problems with waste disposal controls

Two significant deficiencies in the drafting of the waste disposal controls under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 have been revealed by a decision of the Divisional Court. Although one of the problem areas is addressed in the waste management provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, these are unlikely to come into effect until mid-1992 at the earliest, and in the interim the enforcement authorities may find their powers seriously inhibited as a result of the court's decision.

Leigh Land Reclamation Ltd et al v Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (Divisional Court, Queen's Bench Division, 13 October 1990) was an appeal against convictions of 12 offences under the 1974 Act by magistrates in early 1989. The case concerned a landfill at Brownhills operated by Leigh under a licence granted in 1979.

The licence contained a number of typical conditions requiring the compaction of waste after deposit and progress

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