Well, the consultation on the waste carrier, broker and dealer system reform is now closed. It opened on the 21st January 2022 and sought views on their plans to improve the waste Carrier, Broker and Dealer (CBD) system in England.
Here at WPS we felt it was crucial that we put our view across on such a proposed monumental change from a registration system to a permit-based system, as well as the introduction of a Technical Competence requirement for Carriers, Brokers and Dealers. The intention of this proposal is to improve the ability to enforce against non-compliant operators and make it harder for unregistered operators to find work. With fly tipping still reaching the dizzyingly height of 1.13 million incidents per year and rising rapidly, it seems a stick is very much needed and a carrot simply won’t do.
This consultation had 47 questions to answer and a large proportion of those WPS agreed with.
We generally think their plans to bring the current CBD regime under the existing permitting regulations is a sensible way forward providing that the waste producer still has an obligation to meet their Duty of Care requirements. We agreed with the proposals of responsibilities within each classification type and we agreed that standard rules permit types should be differentiated according to the activities to be carried out under the permit. Re writing the wheel seems a pointless activity and will only lead to further confusion.
We also agreed that that subsistence charges should align with charges under the Environmental Permitting Regulations to fund the same range of regulatory activity, so long as there will be some form of compliance checks and not just self-policing.
We argued that a phased approach would be required before enforcement action was taken, as well as guidance needed to help with the proposed changes, but we didn’t argue for any specific time period as it will depend on the competence requirements and how long it takes to implement.
We agreed in principle that a workforce-based competence scheme may be appropriate, but argued that small businesses will find it difficult to implement a fully externally accredited management system and it could be cost prohibitive – but the principle could be applied in a more cost-effective flexible way.
There needs to be more clarity around waste producers and the role they play in this – under Duty of Care they have a responsibility to transfer to an authorised person – that is clearly covered by this consultation. But if they, as they are supposed to, provide a proper description of their waste, including the relevant 6-digit code, then do they also need some form of competence? Is this included in the ‘controller’ function? i.e., are they controlling their own waste rather than using what is currently called a Broker. Whilst it is unlikely that all producers who do this are going to be ‘permitted’ as a controller, is there a mechanism for requiring ‘competence’ for descriptions of waste, etc. – or will the changes basically be discharging them of this responsibility? We believe this is an important question that needs addressing.
So, although we answered the consultation, we were left with considering the impact this is going to have on all waste producers and it has left some of our questions unanswered, so we are looking forward to the next update regarding how they plan to take this forward. Without a doubt though, waste producers and the waste industry as an entity are can look forward to some very big changes ahead.