Reducing crime at sites handling waste, and introducing fixed penalties for waste duty of care - consultation released 6 Feb 2019
On 15 January 2018 DEFRA and the Welsh Government published a consultation on “Proposals to tackle crime and poor performance in the waste sector & introduce a new fixed penalty for the waste duty of care”. Today Thursday 6 January 2019, DEFRA has released the response which we have summarised below.
To read the full government outcome response please click here
Overall it appears to be an interesting consultation with responses from 275 different parties across a distribution of sectors:
- 102 responses (37%) from businesses
- 79 responses (29%) from a local authority
- 48 responses (17%) from an individual
- 46 responses (17%) from another type of organisation
Summary of Consultation
- Written Management System
EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) core guidance states that operators should have effective management systems in place for all permitted activities. The plan is to “enshrine this law” meaning that regulators will be able to hold operators to account (through enforcement) if they cannot produce a written management system or “fail to operate in accordance with written principles”.
This will be required on ALL permitted waste sites. The new management system condition will come into force on 7 April 2019. “Waste operators will need to submit the details of the technical competence arrangements at their site via their waste return
- Financial Competence and Provision
There was a lot of interest in ensuring waste sites have the financial backing to continue sustainably as well as having the means to pay any potential enforcement fines on the back of non-compliance.
“We will consult on specific financial provision options in 2019, with the aim to bring in legislation in due course. As part of this, we will provide more information on strengthening current financial provision arrangements at landfill sites.”
- Waste Exemptions
There are a lot of concerns that exempt sites are often also involved in some form of fraud or criminal activity.
10 Exemptions have been identified as “of the most concern”
“We will publish a supplementary government response next year setting out the proposed changes and how these have been informed by the consultation responses, ahead of introducing legislation to implement them.”
- Duty of Care Fixed Penalty Notice (FPNs) The intent is to introduce an FPN for duty of care breaches. These could be issues to anyone in England if they break the duty of care rules. There is a consideration for vulnerable people but otherwise, the FPN maximum limits would be as below:
Default Penalty: £200
Minimum Full Penalty: £150
Maximum Full Penalty: £400
Minimum Discounted Penalty: £120
The plan here is to ensure that the cost of illegal disposal + an FPN are more than the cost of legitimate disposal but less than what a fine would be. “A local authority cannot pursue an unpaid FPN through the courts. Instead, a recipient choosing not to pay the FPN has chosen not to discharge their liability for the criminal offence, and the local authority can proceed to prosecute that offence in the same way as currently.”
The legislation on FPNs is being laid before parliament this year
To read the consultation outcome in full please click here