Understanding Waste Broker Law in the UK
Waste management is an essential aspect of maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. In the UK, waste brokers play a crucial role in connecting waste producers with waste management facilities. However, to ensure that waste management is carried out effectively and safely, the UK government has implemented waste broker laws that must be followed by all waste brokers.
What is a Waste Broker?
A waste broker is a person or company that acts as an intermediary between waste producers and waste management facilities. Waste brokers help waste producers to find suitable waste management solutions. They also assist waste management facilities in finding waste producers that need their services.
Waste Broker Law in the UK
The UK government has implemented waste broker laws to regulate the activities of waste brokers and ensure that waste management is carried out safely and effectively. Waste brokering is any activity that introduces a waste manager or carrier to a waste producer. Even if the broker doesn't handle the waste and even if it's done for free. Even if a person or company simply recommends someone, this makes then a broker. So they become liable too.
Key pieces of legislation include the Waste (Scotland) and Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. Part 8, clause 25 of the latter act states:
25. No person may act as a broker of or dealer in controlled waste unless registered with the Environment Agency.
Anybody recommending or introducing waste management companies directly to producers is acting as a broker, even if they do so voluntarily or for free. They're not allowed to.
All landowners/landlords must take steps to check that the permitted operations of a waste carrier, broker or dealer, fall within permitted operations of their building's purpose. The case of Christopher Kerr, who took out land which was processing so much wood it became a local authority fire risk and health and safety threat. This case, which resulted in Kerr being jailed, showed just what can happen to waste brokers who unwittingly broker waste between parties.
Waste Broker Registration
All waste brokers in England must be registered with the Environment Agency and carry waste licenses for waste brokering and/or management. The registration process involves providing detailed information about the waste broker's business, including their contact details, the types of waste they handle, and the waste management facilities they work with and responsible people.
Duty of Care
Waste brokers in the UK have a duty of care to ensure that waste is managed safely and legally. They and joint and severally liable with waste producers, for the waste. This includes ensuring that waste is correctly classified, packaged, and labelled before it is transported to a waste management facility. Waste brokers must also ensure that waste is transported by licensed waste carriers and that all necessary documentation is completed. Including waste transfer notes.
Waste brokers in the UK must ensure that waste management facilities they work with have the necessary environmental permits. Environmental permits ensure that waste management facilities are operating legally and are complying with environmental regulations.
Waste Management Hierarchy
Waste brokers in the UK must follow the waste management hierarchy, which prioritises waste reduction, reuse, and recycling over disposal. Waste brokers must encourage waste producers to adopt sustainable waste management practices and find ways to reduce waste generation.
It is important to know that breaching environmental legislation is a criminal offence that can land the staff and owners of waste recyclers, brokers and producers with a criminal record.
Waste broker laws in the UK are essential to ensure that waste management is carried out safely and effectively. They are also extremely complex to pull together. Waste brokers play a crucial role in connecting waste producers with waste management facilities, and it is their responsibility to ensure that waste is managed legally and sustainably. By following waste broker statute, waste brokers can help to create a cleaner and more sustainable environment for everyone.