The Government has laid out new steps to develop a UK-wide tracking system for waste.
The system aims to improve resource efficiency through powers introduced in the Environment Bill.
Environment Minister Jo Churchill confirmed on Friday (21 January) that the Government is now running consultations.
The goal of the consultations is to cut down on waste crime.
The consultation is looking for feedback on the proposals for the practical implementation of digital waste.
What kind of feedback does the Government want from its waste tracking proposals?
The Government consultations aim to find out:
- what waste to track
- what information to record
- when to record this information
- different ways to record the information
- what the enforcement consequences might be if organisations don’t record information according to guidelines
- how we should charge for the operation and maintenance of the waste tracking service
The consultation closes on 22 April 2022 – access it here.
The problem of waste crime
Between 2018 and 2019, waste crime cost the English economy around £924m.
In 2022, local authorities have already dealt with more than one million cases of fly-tipping.
Under this consultation, the Government is seeking feedback on proposals.
Proposals involve increasing background checks for firms involved in the handling, moving and trading of waste to ensure authorisation of waste management.
Additionally, the Government is also proposing a mandatory digital tracking system, using powers in the landmark Environment Act to overhaul existing waste record keeping.
What will the new waste tracking system do?
The new system would see organisations that handle waste record information from the point of production through to disposal, including recycling and reuse.
The hope is that this system will better detect cases of waste crime such as fly-tipping, illegal waste sites, and illegal waste exports.
Environment Minister Jo Churchill said: “Waste criminals show complete disregard for our communities, the environment and the taxpayer.
“We have disrupted these rogue operators by giving extra powers to the Environment Agency, with nearly 1,000 illegal waste sites now being shut down each year, while our new Joint Unit for Waste Crime is successfully disrupting criminal gangs, for example, prosecuting fly-tippers illegally dumping hundreds of tonnes of hazardous waste across the countryside.
“But there is more to do.
“Reforming the licensing system will clamp down on abuse of the system and new mandatory digital waste tracking will greatly improve transparency in the sector and make it easier for householders to check that their waste is being disposed of legally.
“Together, these reforms will stop criminals abusing the waste system and make it easier to prosecute offenders successfully.”
The Government will work with the Devolved Governments on the development of the digital tracking system.
The system will also help businesses comply with their duty of care with regards to waste.
For more on this story, go to Source edie 21/01/2022.