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Repairers warned over new waste regulations

Vehicle repairers will soon have to register with the Government’s Environment Agency in order to comply with new hazardous waste laws being introduced in July.

The European Hazardous Waste Directive re-classifies items currently classed “special waste” such as oil, anti-freeze, brake fluid and contaminated rags, as “hazardous waste”.

The new rules require businesses which produce such waste to be EA registered. Any companies not registered will be unable to dispose of the products, as waste management contractors would commit an offence by collecting their waste.

The Environment Agency will require details of all hazardous waste produced at the business, and will issue the premises with a Premises Code.

This must be quoted during waste collection and in record keeping, as the regulations require workshops to demonstrate that the hazardous products are stored and disposed of correctly.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland implement the directive on July 16, but Scotland has already made the changes in its 2004 Special Waste (Amendment) Regulations.

Andy McNair, managing director of national waste management specialist OSS Group, says: “The new regulations threaten to catch out many car dealers, garages and bodyshops. Many are either unaware of the changes or don’t understand the impact this could have on their business.

“The consequences of not complying will be major fines, potential imprisonment and huge damage to reputations.”

OSS Group offers a registration service for automotive companies. Garages are offered collection services, container exchange, assistance with paperwork as well as advice on environmental issues.

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