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Companies sign up to help inform small businesses of legal waste responsibilities

Companies sign up to help inform small businesses of legal waste responsibilitiesA campaign to raise awareness of the responsibilities of businesses to take care of their waste and prevent illegal activities has launched an ambassador programme to help spread the word.

The ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign, managed by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), has been put together to help primarily small businesses meet their Duty of Care obligations as practically as possible.

Today (2 August) it was announced that Suez, Veolia, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Cory Environmental, Augean PLC, Redrow, Willmott Dixon and the Gloucestershire Joint Waste Team have all signed up to become Campaign Ambassadors and will raise awareness of the Duty of Care to over 5,000 suppliers.

The Duty of Care legally requires any establishment or business that produces, transports, treats or disposes of waste to ensure that it is properly and legally disposed of. Failure to comply with the law can result in unlimited fines in England and Wales or up to £5,000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

As ambassadors, the companies will be able to use campaign materials including bespoke research and educational package to spread the word. The ESA says that each of them has an internal programme and policy on waste management and has demonstrated a commitment to promoting best practice.

Waste crime costing councils millions

The ESA has found that the lack of compliance with the Duty of Care has contributed to the growing problem of waste crime, particularly with regard to fly-tipping, as the number of recorded incidents rose to 900,000 in England during 2014/15. This represented an 11 per cent increase from the previous year, and cost local authorities at least £50 million in cleanup costs. Commercial waste was found to be the second largest component of fly-tipping, and had risen by 18 per cent over the year, according to the ESA research.

ESA research suggests that 94 per cent of non-compliant organisations are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign is aimed primarily at SMEs to provide practical information to help companies, partnerships, family businesses and sole traders comply and help prevent waste crime.

Compliance a ‘serious issue’

Managed by the ESA, the campaign has been sponsored by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) as part of its year-long ‘Fighting Waste Crime’ drive, the Environment Agency and the Environmental Services Association Education Trust (ESAET).

Launching the Ambassadors Programme, Sam Corp, Head of Regulation at the ESA, commented: “The number of organisations actively involved with the ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign, representing a broad range of sectors, shows just how serious an issue Duty of Care compliance is. Therefore, I am delighted to announce Suez, Veolia, FSB, Cory Environmental, Augean PLC, Redrow, Willmott Dixon and the Gloucestershire Joint Waste Team as Campaign Ambassadors and look forward to many more organisations signing up to the programme in the near future.”

More information about the campaign can be found at the interactive ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ website.

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