As readers of this site will recall, The (Waste) Duty of Care has been a legal requirement in the United Kingdom for nearly twenty years.
However, the Duty of Care requirements have largely been overtaken by events specifically that it does not reflect a number of important legislative changes relating to the Duty of Care since its original publication in 1996.
A revised version is subject to consultation by UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for England and Wales. It should be noted that revised Duty of Care provisions have been updated in Scotland (2012) and Northern Ireland (2014).
The Duty of Care takes the form of a Code of Practice with clear guidance for those dealing with certain kinds of waste to take all reasonable steps to keep it safe and is set out in the Section 34(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). It applies to anyone who is a holder of household, industrial and commercial waste, known as controlled waste.
The purpose of the Code of Practice is to give simple, clear and practical guidance on what those who import, produce, carry, keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste have to do to fulfil their legal duty of care obligations.
As required by Section 34(7) of the EPA, the UK Government is required to consult before publishing a revised Code of Practice.
The main themes of the revision are:
- An explanation of the legislative requirements of the duty of care and their application;
- Clear guidance for each part in a waste transfer and how they can demonstrate compliance with the duty of care;
- Clear signposts to relevant legislative requirements that apply to the management of waste and how their compliance within the duty of care may apply; and
- Publication in a relevant end-user format.
Further information on the Consultation can be accessed from the main consultation page here
Readers of this post are encouraged to review the consultation for the changes that it may bring to their waste and resource management & to respond to the consultation as appropriate.
A copy of the current Duty of Care document can be found in the National Archives here & the Scottish Duty of Care can be downloaded here & the Northern Ireland Duty of Care can be downloaded here