23 February 2021 by James Langley

News in brief (23/02/21)

With news on: Speakers to address EPR at online NLWA event; WasteCare launches Covid-19 test kit waste disposal service ; Environment Agency chief executive calls for ‘better regulation’; and, Newark and Sherwood warns residents about ‘man with van’ services.


Speakers to address EPR at online NLWA event

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) will be up for discussion at the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) Waste Prevention Exchange, taking place online on 4 March 2021.

Speakers will look at the system as a whole and explore the effects of the next phase of consultations on EPR for packaging on the sector. The agenda will consider the opportunities for extending EPR to other materials to realise the wider carbon, sustainability and waste prevention benefits it could provide.

Attendees at the NLWA’s Waste Prevention Exchange in 2020

Laura Rimmer, international compliance manager at environmental consultancy Valpak and a speaker at the event, said: “This presentation will discuss the scope that EPR has in various European countries, the expected changes in upcoming years and how the UK will be affected.”

Free to attend and organised by letsrecycle.com’s parent company the Environment Media Group, attendees can view the full programme and register here.


WasteCare launches Covid-19 test kit service

Recycling firm WasteCare has launched a service to help businesses safely dispose of the waste generated from used Covid-19 test kits.

It says it has done so in response to the government “ramping up” its workplace rapid testing programme, cutting the qualifying threshold for businesses to from 250 to 50 employees. This means, WasteCare says, the testing regime could now be available to somewhere in the region of 43,000 businesses and 14.4 million employees.

WasteCare provides customers with the appropriate clinical waste boxes for absorbent pads, vials and tissues, as well as used PPE

WasteCare’s service sees it provide customers with the appropriate clinical waste bags or boxes for absorbent pads, vials and tissues, as well as used PPE. Once collected, the waste is treated at WasteCare’s high temperature incineration facility.

Wastecare’s CEO Peter Hunt said: “The increased availability of lateral flow testing has resulted in large numbers of businesses producing clinical and offensive waste that would not ordinarily do so.

“To avoid a build-up of this waste, it is vital that these businesses are able to dispose of it safely and in a cost-effective manner.

“By keeping it separate from their general waste and treating it properly, we can ensure that testing waste does not present further health issues or support the spread of the virus.”


Environment Agency chief executive calls for ‘better regulation’

The chief executive of the Environment Agency has called for “better regulation” and “not deregulation” to protect the environment and boost the economy.

Sir James Bevan’s appeal comes as the UK contemplates its Covid-19 economic recovery and how to determine its own laws not it is outside the EU.

James Bevan has been chief executive of the Environment Agency since 2015

Sir James said: “Better regulation isn’t code for deregulation. The test for any changes in legislation must be that they will deliver better environmental outcomes as well as being good for the economy.”

His appeal coincides with the publication of a report, Regulating for People, Environment and Growth, showing data from regulatory activities in 2019.

The report suggests waste recovery at permitted sites has improved to a record 74%. It also shows that in 2019 the Agency inspected 1,889 containers to help prevent illegal waste exports and stopped illegal waste activity at 940 sites, 3% more than the previous year.


Newark and Sherwood warns residents about ‘man with van’ services

Newark and Sherwood district council has warned residents to be vigilant when employing ‘man with a van’ services after Amazon delivery packaging and other household goods were found dumped in Oxton.

#NotinNewarkandSherwood, a campaign cracking down on fly-tipping, was launched by the council in October 2019. The council says it has already led to a series of prosecutions, including one from just a week ago.

The dumped waste found in Oxton

A man from Newark was issued a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice after dumping excess household waste comprising food waste, toy packaging and documents outside a block of flats in Balderton.

Councillor Roger Jackson, chairman of the district council’s leisure and environment committee, said: “This case serves as an example that if you pay for your waste to be taken away and don’t check where it’s going, you are running the risk of a fine or prosecution yourself.”

In a separate case, a woman was fined £400 after an illegal tip-run led to Amazon delivery packaging and other household goods being fly-tipped in black bags on Forest Road, Oxton.

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