Businesses risk prosecution if they don't take waste seriously, expert warns

Companies need to be more aware of their responsibilities around waste management if they are to remain compliant with increasingly complex legislation, an environmental expert has warned.

Phil Conran, who heads up consultancy 360 Environmental, was speaking at a business waste seminar event hosted by MITIE last week in London (November 30). He said the issue of waste management was increasingly moving up the corporate hierarchy towards board level.

“As waste has become more technical and we’ve seen more separation of materials, waste compliance has become more difficult as you’re dealing with more companies and different types of waste which require different types of compliance,” Conran said.

He told delegates that the issue was “no longer just about signing off waste transfer notes” – companies needed to take more ownership of where materials were going or risk becoming liable if regulations are breached.

He said: “As waste starts to go down alternative [diversion] routes, you have to be more aware of where it is going downstream – an obvious example here is WEEE. The responsibility now lies with the producer.”

Conran added that in total there were around 280 pieces of environmental legislation, many of which relate to waste management, that companies needed to be aware of.

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