September 6th, 2012
by Phillip Ward
It will no doubt take Owen Paterson a few days to uncover all the issues Caroline Spelman left in his in-tray.
One which has dipped under the radar is the promised revised guidance on applying the waste hierarchy. Whilst it has been around for a long time, the hierarchy assumes greater significance now that the revised Waste Framework Directive gives its prioritisation of methods of waste treatment a statutory basis. Last year it was enshrined in England and Wales regulations that are now in force. Anyone creating or handling waste is already obliged to follow the hierarchy (Prevention, Preparing for Reuse, Recycling, Recovery or Disposal) and penalties can be imposed if they fail to do so. However, the guidance is a critical tool to enable the hierarchy to be applied in practice.