Environment Agency warns on compliant waste disposal

Waste site

The Environment Agency has warned small businesses not to give their rubbish to illegal waste operators. The warning came after a van used to dump waste illegally in Berkshire was seized and crushed by the agency.

The van was destroyed as part of a continuing criminal investigation into the large scale dumping of commercial waste.
Helen Hancock, an enforcement officer with the agency in Berkshire, said that any business has a “legal responsibility to safely contain and legally dispose of any waste produced”.

She added: “Using illegal waste dealers may seem tempting in terms of cost, but it can help fund organised crime. All businesses have a responsibility for their commercial waste and if your waste is found on an illegal site you could be facing fines at court.”

The advice reinforces the legal position which means that anybody employing a waste disposal haulier needs to ensure that they are using a legitimate carrier. If not, both the illegal operator and the firm disposing of the waste can be prosecuted.

The Environment Agency has closed two illegal dumping sites a day on average in the past year, and seized a number of vehicles connected with waste crime throughout the UK.

Transport managers told to keep up to date on regulations by senior traffic commissioner

Senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt

The senior traffic commissioner (TC) has warned UK hauliers to keep their qualifications and development up to date.

Richard Turfitt said that key staff, such as transport managers, should be proactive in keeping current with new guidance on haulage regulations.

He said this particularly applied to those whose qualification is more than 10 years old; those who have not worked for an operator for the past five years; or anybody who is called before a public inquiry (PI).

Turfitt made his remarks after the TCs completed a revision of statutory documents following a consultation which was completed this summer.

The changes include clearer guidance on what will happen if someone uses an operator’s licence without authority (the practice of ‘fronting’), greater emphasis on the importance of accurate applications, a new section on support for tribunal users, updated guidance on what happens when periods of grace expire and a new section on driver employment status.

Turfitt said: “It is important that we get the balance right, so that irresponsible people, who ignore the safety of other road users, do not put compliant businesses at a disadvantage. These documents demonstrate our commitment to transparency in the way we make our decisions. On this occasion the majority of changes are dictated by the case law rather than a debate on policy. There is a heavy emphasis on providing continuity but the responses received have helped us to try and clarify our approach to regulation.”

The new statutory guidance can be found on the TC’s website