Monitoring Environmental Performance
Waste Disposal Legislation
Summary of the Main UK Waste Regulations
- Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978 (as amended)
- Provides for the disposal of household refuse or 'civic amenity'
waste, whether organic or inorganic.
- Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1980
- Derived for EC Directive 78/319/EEC, on Toxic and dangerous waste, which
controlled the movement of certain types of wastes considered both polluting
and dangerous to life, i.e special wastes. These regulations introduced the
'cradle to grave' consignment system for special 'section 17' wastes. They
have been replaced by the:
- Special Waste Regulations 12996
- which implement the requirements of the EC Directive 91/689/EEC on
hazardous wastes, in particular Article 1(4) which established a list of
- Collection and Disposal of Waste Regulations 1988
- which extended the provisions of COPA 1974 to include licensing of sites
dealing with the recovery of solvents and oils. The definition of controlled
waste was enlarged to include clinical waste.
- Environment Protection Act 1990
- Part II of EPA 1990 re-enacted the provisions of COPA 1974 relating to
waste on land and imposed a duty of care on waste producers. Administrative
changes in the controlling authorities were also introduced. Following the
passage of the Environment Act 1995, EPA 1990 now has a new part IIA dealing
with contaminated land.
- Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991
- These regulations made provision for a system of transfer notes and record
keeping for controlled waste. Whenever the waste changes hands, both the
transferor and the transferee must complete and sign a transfer note
containing full details of the waste, its method of containment and
- Waste Management and Licensing Regulations 1994
- These regulations implemented the requirement under EPA 1990 that anyone
who treats, keeps or disposes of waste must hold a waste management
- Environment Act 1995.
- The new Act rationalises the powers of the various environmental protection
regulators throughout the UK. There is a new Environment Agency for England
and Wales and the Scottish Environmental protection Agency in Scotland. The
Environment and Heritage Service has been strengthened in Northern Ireland.
The new Act also introduces a regime for the clean up of contaminated land.
- Landfill Tax
- In the 1994 budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced a landfill
tax to be imposed on all landfill operators from 1st October 1996. The levy is
intended to ease pressure on landfill sites by raising the costs of waste
- EC Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste
- This requires EU member states to recycle, compost or burn (with energy
recovery) 50-65% by weight of packaging waste, and to recycle 25-45% of the
total quantity, with at least 15% of each packaging material to be recycled,
by the year 2001.
- Trans-Frontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988
- Derived for EC Directive 84/631/EEC on the supervision and control within
the EC of the Trans frontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste. These regulations
are intended to prevent uncontrolled and undocumented movements of waste
within, into and out of the EU countries