New regulations dealing with the handling, transfer and transport of waste will affect most businesses in the UK and are expected to be introduced either at the end of this year or in 2011. All businesses that deal with waste in some form will need to familiarise themselves with the new measures. As well as businesses that import, treat, store and transport waste, businesses that produce waste and dispose of waste will also need to comply. The regulations promote the ‘duty of care’, which is a legal requirement that businesses that deal with waste take all reasonable steps to keep it safe and secure.
The regulations are intended to simplify and make more effective the existing waste carrier regulations, by ensuring that there is more consistency between enforcement authorities. Fines for breaching the regulations will be tougher than those currently imposed and there will be a wider use of fixed penalty notices to promote compliance.
The rationale behind the new regulations is to make efficiency savings for waste regulators and to prevent illegal waste activities more effectively. The businesses most likely to be affected are farmers and those that manage waste, because of the new powers of stop, search and seizure of vehicles.