Environment Bulletin: Waste Management

Landfill Tax Amendments In Force

Amendments to the Landfill Tax Scheme came into force on 1 April 2007. The Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations 2007 SI2007 No 965 brought into force various, mainly minor, changes to the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996. The changes include:

The maximum credit a landfill site operator may claim against annual landfill tax liability returns to 6.6% (after a year at 6.7%);

Approval by the regulator of an environmental body (the organisation that administers and uses landfill tax credits) may now be granted subject to conditions;

New requirements on an environmental body to provide financial information to the Regulator, also their accounts, but only where those are requested.

New Packaging Waste Regulations

Updated provisions, applying to the whole of Great Britain, relating to the recovery and recycling of packaging waste came into force on 16 March 2007. With a saving for transitional matters, the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 SI2007 No. 871 replace similarly named provisions of 2005. They are an update of the earlier regulations, particularly taking into account progress relating to recycling and re-use.

The essence of the requirements for producers is to be found in regulation 4 and various schedules. Obligations depend upon whether the producer of packaging waste is a manufacturer, converter, packer/filler, seller, secondary provider or service provider. The recovery target in each case is a percentage by reference to the number of tonnes handled in a given year. This percentage will vary between 6% and 85%. Where a producer falls into more than one category, then the percentages are aggregated. Recovery targets are set at 67% for 2007 and increase by 1% per annum up to 2010 (70%). There are also recycling targets which depend upon the type of material being handled (see table below).

Producers have alternative methods of compliance with the Regulations. They may either proceed alone or, more usually, they will join the numerous schemes being operated by various organisations who take on many of the responsibilities for producers. In all cases, the producer is required to be registered under the terms of Part III of the Regulations. Records are required to be kept and returns made to the relevant regulator.

The Regulations are now quite complex and there are special arrangements for small users, importers and others. For further explanation and help please contact the Planning and Environment Group.

Fixed Penalty Notices For Environmental Crimes

From 2 April 2007 the Environment Agency has been empowered to issue fixed penalty notices imposing 300 fines on any businesses who are unlawfully carrying waste. The powers derive from the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 and the Hazardous Waste Regulations. The powers extend to other offences besides failure to show registration as a...

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