Waste management

We often hear complaints that the regulators are increasingly reluctant to commit themselves or to advise in any practical or common sense way but instead prefer to provide links to ever more ‘Delphic’ guidance leaving you to work things out for yourselves. In an already busy and demanding sector it is an additional burden to wade through complex legislation and guidance that is often overly prescriptive, unworkable, ambiguous or inadequate. If you get it wrong the downsides are immense given the attitude of the courts and regulators to these so called ‘waste crimes’. Don’t misunderstand some environmental crime is heinous but sometimes the regulator seems incapable of distinguishing the truly criminal from the negligent or inadvertent. A good example of this is the miscoding of waste. The LoW regulations are complex and open to interpretation yet so often wrongly coding waste is regarded as a deliberate and cynical act intended only to secure some form of economic benefit.

We can help you resolve many of these issues and to ‘push back’ against overzealous regulation by offering support and legal advice based from years of experience in dealing with the regulators.

Waste management, recycling, recovery and disposal is clearly a highly regulated area and clearly it needs to be given the potential environmental impact should things go wrong. The waste sector has experienced extensive and rapid legislative change at both UK and European Union levels. Do not think for a moment Brexit will reverse this. Article 50 has been triggered  and the European Communities Act 1972 will be repealed and the “Great Repeal Bill” has now given way to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which will enshrine all existing EU law into domestic law. The bill will convert EU law as it stands at the moment of exit into domestic law before the UK leaves the EU. Whilst the UK will then be at liberty to keep, amend or cancel any legislation once Brexit has been completed what is likely to change and what impact will Brexit have on future policy direction in environmental matters? That remains to be seen. Even if the UK keeps the laws as they presently stand at the point of exit the UK will have a choice of either shadowing EU law or diverging from it. If anything UK environmental legislation is likely to tighten because there seems to be a tendency in the UK to gold plate regulation.

Recycling targets, the waste hierarchy and definition of waste are all derived from EU legislation and policy and for the immediate and foreseeable future the same drivers of the circular economy are unlikely to reduce.

Our expert knowledge of this complex area embraces both understanding of technical issues and the market forces that drive the industry. Our waste management legal services are supported by our expert knowledge of landfill law, duty of care the associated transport operations (including TFS) and collection and disposal operations and associated environmental, health and safety and transport issues, offering an integrated response to clients within the waste management and recycling sectors.

Our waste management legal services include

  • Identifying compliance related risks to your business before they can emerge to cause damage
  • Helping you negotiate and mediate with the regulators to avoid overzealous and unrealistic demands that cut into the top and bottom lines of the business
  • Helping you appeal unreasonable Compliance Rating Scores under the Compliance Categorisation Scheme
  • Appealing Reg 22, 36 and 37 Revocation/Enforcement / Suspension Notices
  • Assisting with the preparation of Environmental Management Systems (OMP/EMP/EMS/FPP)
  • Helping you deal with investigations from the earliest stages through to formal Interviews under caution
  • Helping you with training and guidance and provision of general mentoring
  • Health and safety risk assessment and legal audits
  • Environmental risk assessment and legal audits
  • Road Transport risk assessments and legal audits
  • Defence of all offences including those brought under EPA 1990 and EPR 2010/2016 and TFS 2007
  • Waste planning appeals and inquiries (including advocacy)
  • Trans-frontier Shipment of Waste
  • Waste classification and categorisation

For more information on our waste management legal services please contact John Dyne  or contact Jonny Bell