Enforced by the Environment Agency, the regulations require garages to have approved procedures to handle, contain and store disposal materials such as brake pads, lead acid batteries, coolants, lubricants and spent engine oil.
Only compliant businesses that have applied for a unique ‘premises code’ can now consign waste to a registered recycler. Without a registration number, a recycler is not allowed to collect any materials deemed hazardous waste. If it does, both the garage and the recycler can be fined.
Agip Oil UK believes these are the first steps to clearing the shelves at filling stations, car care stores and supermarkets of a huge range of top-up products, and outlawing home vehicle maintenance.
Chris Dockerty, managing director, says: “The regulations are designed to control and monitor the handling of everything from an oily rag to the millions of litres of oil a year garages drain as part of routine services.
“They are there to ensure that the environment and public health are protected from the mismanagement of hazardous waste – that garages are not tipping waste oil down a drain or pouring it in a bucket, covering it with sand and then binning it.
“If you take this a logical step further, the most effective way to prevent private motorists from illegally disposing of these materials is to make sure we can’t get hold of them in the first place.” Certain premises are currently exempt from registration if less than 200kg of hazardous waste is produced at specified sites in any 12-month period. These include domestic premises, offices, agricultural premises, schools and, crucially, shops.
But Dockerty believes the Government will soon tighten the regulations further, putting all vehicle service and maintenance into the hands of Environment Agency-compliant garages.
“It’s just a matter of time,” he says. “It just needs a little bit more legislation.”
Agip Oil, which is the OE supplier to Ferrari and Maserati business Maranello, has supply deals with more than 250 dealerships in the UK, and recommends registered recycler Pure Clean in Manchester to its customers to provide appropriate storage units and to manage their waste collection.