Waste management specialist B&M Waste Services has issued a warning to medium sized businesses in Merseyside urging them to be prepared for the imminent changes in the collection of commercial waste.
Commencing on the 1st January, under the revised EU Waste Framework Directive, all businesses are now required to separate cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and glass for collection. The aim of separate collections is to facilitate or improve the quality of material for recycling, as compared to collecting it mixed with other waste. Businesses which fail to comply with the new regulations could be investigated by the Environment Agency and face prosecution.
The Environment Agency first announced the changes in waste collection regulations in 2014. B&M Waste Services Director Mick Ashall warns that medium sized businesses will be most at risk of being penalised for non-compliance.
Mick Ashall said: “Large corporates and organisations are already required by law under the government’s Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) to undertake mandatory energy
assessments and energy savings audits, and so will be operating a sophisticated recycling policy as a result. At the same time, the Environment Agency recognises that smaller businesses are not always in a financial position to implement a regular recycling policy with separate waste collections. It will therefore be medium sized businesses – who can afford, and have the space to implement a segregation-based recycling policy but as yet may not have implemented a scheme – which will be most at risk of falling foul to comply with the new regulations and risk being prosecuted.”
The new legislation requires separate collection of recyclates where it is Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable (TEEP). This means that businesses will be exempt from the regulations if they can prove that their approach will achieve certain quality standards, or if establishing a separate collection system is not practical.
However, The Environment Agency (EA) will be monitoring Material Recycling Facilities (MRF) to identify businesses and waste management companies who are not complying with the new regulations. As part of the EA’s efforts to police separate collection legislation, they will also ask operators to supply information on their current collection methods by 31 March 2015 and will maintain a database to update that information. The EA has said that it will take a robust approach with those who ignore the new regulations. Businesses could be investigated and face prosecution.
Mick recommends that all businesses should work with their waste management company to review their recycling policy to ensure they comply with the new TEEP regulations.
Mick said: “Waste management companies should be able to provide medium sized businesses with a robust recycling policy – which includes the separation of cardboard, plastic, metal and glass. B&M Waste Services has more than 7,000 customers – all of whom can benefit from our recycling services.
“B&M Waste Service’s commercial ethos is to divert as much material away from landfill as possible and to maximise the value of the materials collected without placing undue levels of resource commitment on our customers.
“We now operate our own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Bromborough, Wirral and Trafford Park, Manchester. As part of our ongoing drive to achieve 100% diversion, we encourage customers to segregate recyclates into separate containers for collection. This is to help our customers achieve the best possible recycling/recovery rates.”
In 2014, B&M Waste Services also launched its new £1million Refuse Derived Fuel facility at Trafford Park, Manchester. All non-recyclable residual waste is compacted into bales and transported to a Combined Heat and Power Facility. Energy is then harvested from the residual waste to produce electricity and also steam which produces thermal heating.