Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Twelfth Special Report


Landfill Directive

DEFRA has issued two consultation papers on the implementation of the Landfill Directive. The first was published in October 2000, the second in August 2001 which also contained a copy of draft regulations. In addition, DEFRA has held a number of consultation seminars on various aspects of the Directive, held regular liaison meetings with key stakeholders and established sounding boards to discuss our proposals on a number of issues, for example to inform a negotiating stance on the waste acceptance criteria.

DEFRA works very closely with the Environment Agency, discussing on a daily basis all aspects of implementation, and also liases closely, with the DTI and the Devolved Administrations in particular.

Review of the Special Waste Regulations

The Special Waste Regulations (1996) (SI No 972) set out the control system for the movement of hazardous wastes in England and Wales. The Regulations implement the European Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC). The scope of the Regulations in terms of the wastes included is determined by the European Hazardous Waste List (94/904/EC). This list has recently been extensively revised, a number of significant additions have been made and incorporated within the European Waste Catalogue. The changes to the hazardous waste list require that amendments be made to the Special Waste Regulations. At the same time the UK Government is taking the opportunity to make changes to administrative procedures for consigning hazardous waste.

A consultation document was issued in March 2001 inviting views on a number of proposed changes to the Regulations. About 115 responses were received and the proposals have been amended to take account of these. A second round of consultation will take place later this year.

End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive

The DTI issued a consultation paper in August 2001 looking at three possible options for implementing the ELV Directive in the UK. It received 123 responses from a wide range of individuals and businesses likely to be affected by the Directive. Several further options for implementation were suggested by trade associations, and these and related matters have been discussed in detail within an ELV Consultation Group consisting of relevant industry representative associations that has been set up by the DTI.

Another, more widely­based group, the Automotive Consortium on Recycling and Disposal (ACORD), has members from all the industry sectors that will be affected by the ELV Directive and holds regular progress meetings with the Environment Agencies and Government officials. Through these meetings, industry is kept up to date with developments in the UK and Brussels, and members are free to express their views.

A consultation paper and draft regulations implementing Article 6 and Annex I of the Directive, which refers to permitting requirements of treatment facilities, are expected to be issued by DEFRA later this year. In addition, a separate consultation paper and draft regulations on the implementation option for the rest of the Directive is also expected to be issued by the DTI later this year. A wide range of those expected to be affected by the Directive will be invited to comment, and the consultation papers will be available on the departmental web­sites.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive

Formal DTI consultation was issued in summer 2000. Results were published in December 2000. Approximately 300 consultation documents were sent out.

Partial RIAs were produced, (a) for the DTI Consultation undertaken in August 2000, (b) in December 2000, for the fourth draft of the Directive, and (c) in March 2002, based on the Common Position text received by the European Parliament on 13 December 2001.

Government Departments are in regular contact with industry about the Directive and its implementation in the UK, and report back to industry on developments in the negotiations in Brussels as they occur.

DEFRA, DTI and the Environment Agency meet regularly to discuss implementation of the Directive and implications for central and local Government are some of the main priorities in those discussions. Officials are also in touch with colleagues in the Devolved Administrations.

DEFRA is hosting a series of meetings with Local Authority representatives to discuss the role that Local Authorities might play. DTI hosts a similar series of meetings with retailers. Focus groups are planned on permitting and for manufacturers by sector.

DEFRA and DTI are working together with the Small Business Service to organise visits to UK regions to raise awareness of the requirements of the Directive and discuss implementation methods. Representatives from all stakeholder groups will be invited to put forward their views and attendance will be free of charge.

DTI and DEFRA officials have made presentations on the WEEE Directive on more than twenty occasions at conferences and seminars this year alone.

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
8 October 2002

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Prepared 24 October 2002