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‘Unaware’ motor sector risks breaking hazardous waste law

An automotive waste management specialist has warned that the automotive industry is not yet ready for new hazardous waste regulations, which come into force next month.

The regulations will come into force on July 16 and are expected to impact on around 20,000 sites related to the motor industry. The Environment Agency will be given the powers to issue £300 on-the-spot fines to sites in breach of the law.

“Many dealerships, bodyshops and autocentres are unaware of the impending changes and the likely penalties for breaking the law, which is worrying,” says Graham Gibson, Automotive Waste Solutions (AWS).

"AWS has found that many dealerships, bodyshops and autocentres are unaware of the impending changes and the likely penalties for breaking the law, which is worrying considering that the new legislation comes into force next month," he said.

Under the new regulations, every site producing more than 200kg of waste deemed to be hazardous will need to register with the Environment Agency. There will, however, no longer be a need to pre-notify the Environment Agency regarding hazardous waste production and removal.

Instead, both the producer and collector of hazardous waste are to have dedicated identification numbers that must be quoted on every piece of paperwork associated with waste collections.

Detailed descriptions of the nature of the hazardous waste also need to be defined, with evidence of the correct containers being used for storage and clear audit trails on responsible carriage and waste disposal.

"This new legislation puts a very different slant on waste classification and handling," says Gibson.

"We believe there are many sites in the UK that do not have a thorough understanding of the implication of these changes."

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