Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Evidence of a Market Will Become End of "Waste" - EA Says

The Environment Agency (England and Wales) has now published a briefing note which makes it clear that it had changed its previous position that recovered material under the Quality Protocols scheme only ceases to be waste once it's been dispatched to the customer. It has decided that there shouldn't be any distinction made between processed material awaiting despatch and processed material which has already been despatched.

Vincent Brown, Head of Semple Fraser's expert legal team (website has confirmed, as reported in the CIWM's journal for Waste and Resource Management Professionals published in July, that in law, there never was such a distinction.

The end of waste test needs only that you produce a marketable product that can be utilized in the same way as a normal ( ie, non-waste-derived ) product, with no worse environmental effects. Note the word "can" - not "is".

The legal test needs some evidence of a market to avoid sham production of claimed products that are simply stockpiled ( outside waste controls ) and never meant for consumption, but the method of physical delivery to the buyer wasn't needed.

And this approach is mirrored in Article six of the new Waste Framework Directive ( 2008 / 8 / EC ), which states that "certain mentioned waste shall cease to be waste when it has undergone a recovery operation and complies with express criteria to be developed" as to accord with the conditions, including that "a market or demand exists" for the substance or object.

The EA's new enlightened approach is to be welcomed and must come as very welcome news to many recyclers, as an indication of a more flexible and accommodating perspective to waste-derived products.

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