Rules and regulations
Legal issues really must be top priority if you decide to go into waste and recycling. All kinds of waste disposal and recycling initiatives are subject to stringent rules and regulatory requirements -- even if the material your organisation deals with is not hazardous.
It is a very complicated area and different rules apply depending on what type of business you plan to run, what materials you’re handling and the volumes you’re dealing with as well as how long you’re keeping them for. A number of health and safety laws only become relevant when you start to grow and have a certain number of staff members too. Small or large, though, legislation is not something that you can neglect. Jason of AnyJunk.co.uk explains:
“What tends to happen is that people go into waste and recycling without ticking all the health and safety boxes. They don’t get the licenses and then they realise that they’re in breach of everything. And it’s all over.”
Falling foul of legislation is very easy for a start up to do, and likely one of the reasons why waste management and recycling companies tend to be quite large, with dedicated departments for such things as legal compliance.
In overview, there are four areas that you should consider: waste legislation; planning consent; legislation dealing with the carrying of waste and transporting it; and health and safety.
The heavy hitters regarding waste legislation are: the Waste Framework Directive and the Environmental Protection Act. And if you plan to run a waste removal service for businesses, you must also be aware that all businesses you work with:
Have a ‘Duty of Care’ requiring them to ensure their waste is disposed of safely and properly even after it has been passed on to another party such as a waste contractor, or recycler. This ‘Duty of Care’ has no time limit and extends until the waste has either been disposed of or fully recovered;
Must ensure waste is transferred only to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes;
Must transfer a written description of the waste that will enable other persons to avoid the unauthorised or harmful disposal of the waste and to comply with their own ‘Duty of Care’.