The Environment Agency and the ESA announce joint venture for ‘shared understanding’

The Environment Agency (EA) has launched the Waste Industry Placement Scheme, in collaboration with the Environmental Services Association (ESA), to support the sharing of knowledge between the regulator and industry.

The EA said the Waste Industry Placement Scheme is a “collaborative venture” between the Environment Agency, ESA and their members, who operate recycling and waste treatment infrastructure.

The aim is to provide EA officers with “hands-on operational experience”, allowing them to regulate with greater understanding, credibility and confidence, by undertaking short placements with participating waste companies.

In turn, this is seen as an opportunity for both regulator and regulated organisations to develop a “shared understanding” of waste regulation.

The scheme had been in place for 19 years prior to the pandemic, with around 30 officers said to take part each year. The scheme is being reinstated, with one-week placements proposed to take place from June until September 2024.

Raising standards

Georgina Collins, Environment Agency director for energy and resources, said: “The Waste Industry Placement Scheme is a brilliant example of the regulator and the regulated coming together to get a better understanding of how the other works.

“We want to make sure our officers have the best skills, knowledge and experience to do their jobs effectively, so we are delighted to reinstate this scheme so that more people can benefit.

“We look forward to collaborating with the ESA and the waste industry on the scheme for years to come.”

Jacob Hayler, the ESA’s executive director, said: “The Waste Industry Placement Scheme provides a great opportunity for EA officers to experience first-hand the wide range of operations undertaken by ESA members which will help develop a deeper mutual understanding of how regulation impacts and supports our sector.

“We believe unequivocally in the importance of having a strong and effective regulator and supporting the Agency in this way aligns with ESA’s core strategic objective to raise standards across the sector. Our members look forward to welcoming EA officers to their placements and working with them over the next few months.”

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