An online tool designed to help businesses in England check whether their waste materials meet End-of-Waste criteria was launched by the Environment Agency today (November 11).
The ‘IsItWaste’ tool will help businesses navigate a ‘veritable minefield of red tape’ according to Caroline Spellman MP, who unveiled the project in her role as chair of the All Party-Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (ASPRG) in Westminster.
The aim of the waste assessment tool is to remove high quality waste-derived products from the scope of waste legislation to improve end market demand and confidence, and allow businesses to be ‘more competitive’.
Developed in conjunction with project partner Rijkswaterstaat – the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment – the tool provides a step-by-step approach that takes users through decision stages including material composition, risk assessment, and product use.
The tool ultimately provides the user with information about whether surplus waste material can be considered as a new product. It can also be used to submit an application to the Environment Agency’s Definition of Waste panel for a formal decision if desired.
Resource minister Dan Rogerson said: “This government is committed to ensuring we use our resources more carefully and the UK is now producing less waste than ever before. This reflects a lot of hard work by local authorities and businesses, and a desire from householders to cut down on waste.
“We all have a responsibility to tackle waste and I congratulate the Environment Agency and their partners on the new ‘Is It Waste’ service which can help businesses save money and create new products from existing materials to generate growth and new jobs.”
The Environment Agency is launching the IsItWaste tool today. It helps businesses navigate a complex area of legislation as they seek to transform their waste into useful products. This has environmental and economic benefits
And, speaking at the launch event today, Environment Agency chief executive Paul Leinster said: “The Environment Agency is launching the IsItWaste tool today. It helps businesses navigate a complex area of legislation as they seek to transform their waste into useful products. This has environmental and economic benefits.”
The project comes as part of the EU LIFE+ funded Ensuring Quality of waste-derived products (EQual) programme, which aims to support and promote the reuse and recycling of waste. Programme partners include the Environment Agency, the Organics Recycling Group, Energy UK and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).
Steve Lee, chief executive of CIWM, added: “Deriving value from waste materials by turning them back into safe, high quality products is an essential element in the move towards a more circular economy.
“Offering both economic and environmental benefits if supported and regulated appropriately, waste-derived products improve business resource efficiency and competitiveness, reduce reliance on landfill, and help to conserve virgin raw materials.”
The requirements for certain waste-derived products to achieve End-of-Waste status are currently set out by 12 Quality Protocols within Environment Agency-led waste legislation. To date, the protocols are understood to have diverted around 40 million tonnes of waste materials from landfill.