Consultation on proposals to tackle crime and poor performance in the waste sector & introduce a new fixed penalty for the waste duty of care

Closes 26 Mar 2018

Part B: Reforming waste exemptions

Part B of this consultation seeks views on options for changing the waste exemptions to prevent them being used to hide waste crime.

After completing this page you will return to the contents page.  Please then complete any or all of Parts A, B and C followed by the Consultee Feedback page. 

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Proposals

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28. Do you think the proposal to restrict registration of exemptions at permitted waste operations would help tackle illegal activity and stop waste operators expanding their activity without appropriate controls?

29. Do you think that exempt waste operations that have direct technical links with other activities carried out at an adjacent permitted waste site should be included in the adjacent operator’s permit?

30. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of exemptions at permitted sites?

31. Do you think that the proposals will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

32. Overall which of the proposed options do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We are considering four options for addressing these issues.
  • Option 1: Clarify the regulations so that it is clearer that where more than one exemption is registered at a site, then the storage limit for each waste type is limited to the lowest limit set out in any one exemption. For example, registering an exemption allowing 50 cubic metres of wood to be stored together with another exemption allowing 60 cubic metres of wood to be stored would result in an overall storage limit of 50 cubic metres (and not 50 + 60 = 110 cubic metres).
  • Option 2: limit the total number of exemptions that can be registered at any non-agricultural waste site concurrently to three and at agricultural sites to 8.
  • Option 3: Prohibit the registration of specified exemptions at the same site where their registration together is deemed to commonly provide a cover for illegal waste activities.
  • Option 4: Any combination of Options 1, 2 and 3.

Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

33. Are there any particular exemptions that you think should not be registered at the same site under option 3?

34. Do you have further evidence on the registration of multiple exemptions at single sites to hide unlawful activities?

35. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

36. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

37. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

38. Which of the proposed options for exemption U1 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption U1:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions  
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 2
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 2

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

39. Under Option 2 do you think the U1 exemption should allow any additional types of construction activities beyond those listed in Annex 2?

Annex 2

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40. Under Option 2 do you think the quantities of waste allowed for each specified construction activity are appropriate?

41. Under Option 2 are the waste types listed sufficient to carry out each specified waste activity?

42. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

43. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

44. Which of the proposed options for exemption U16 do you support?

Our proposals

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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45. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

46. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

47 . Which of the proposed options for exemption T4 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption T4:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 3
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 3

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

48. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

49. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

50. Which of the proposed options for exemption T6 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption T6:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 4
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 4

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

51. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

52. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

53. Which of the proposed options for exemption T8 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption T8:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 5
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 5

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

54. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

55. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

56. Which of the proposed options for exemption T9 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption T9:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 6
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 6

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

57. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

58. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

59. Which of the proposed options for exemption T12 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We propose the following options for exemption T12:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 7
  • Option 3: Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit

The design principles that we used to develop these options can be found in Annex 1

Annex 1: Overarching design principles for exemptions reform

For each exemption, the broad options available are:  

Option 1 - Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions. This may be considered the best option where evidence is presented that the exemption provides wide benefits in its present form, and that these outweigh the risks of illegal activity associated with it, or would be lost under options 2 and 3.

Option 2 - Change the exemption, amend its conditions. The option sets out changes designed to make it easier to spot and stop illegal activities while allowing low risk legitimate activities to continue. The changes proposed under this option differ for each exemption of concern, but include reducing the quantity of waste that can be accepted annually and reducing the amount of waste on site at any point in time. They also include limiting the types of waste that can be handled and tightening up the environmental controls such as where and how waste must be stored and/or treated. Annex 1 outlines the overarching design principles we have used to inform the changes proposed for each exemption under this option. The principles cover our approach to making changes to the:

  • Quantity of waste that can be processed on site
  • Quantity of waste stored on site and the time it is stored for
  • Types of waste that can be handled
  • Application of fire prevention controls
  • Revision of conditions so it is easier to assess compliance
  • Improvements to waste descriptions

The detailed changes to conditions envisaged for each exemption in line with these principles are set out in Annexes 2 to 9. Option 2 is not considered for Exemption U16.

Option 3 - Remove the exemption and require activities it covers to be carried out under a permit. This may be considered the best option where the more stringent compliance checks required by an environmental permit could be the most effective way of preventing illegal activity. This option is not considered for Exemptions D7, S1 and S2.

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Annex 7

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

60. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

61. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

62. Which of the proposed options for exemption D7 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We recognise the practical and economic need for this exemption for specified wastes, particularly in rural areas that are distant from waste recycling sites. We are therefore only proposing options 1 and 2 for exemption D7:

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 8

Annex 8

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Support - tick as many as apply 

Prefer - select one preference

63. Do you have further evidence on the current unlawful use of this exemption?

64. Do you think that any of the options will impose specific costs or bring benefits on yourself or your organisation?

65. Which of the proposed options for exemptions S1 and S2 do you support and which do you prefer?

Our proposals

We recognise the practical and economic need for these exemptions to allow for gathering and bulking wastes together for onward transport for recovery.  By reducing the limits and having stricter controls on waste types, quantities and storage conditions, such activities are expected to be low risk as well as beneficial for resource recovery.  We are therefore only proposing options 1 and 2 for the exemptions S1and S2.

  • Option 1: Keep the exemption with no changes to its conditions 
  • Option 2: Change the exemption, amend its conditions – see Annex 9

Annex 9

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Support - tick as many as apply

Prefer - select one preference

66. Do think that the proposal to split the existing S1 and S2 exemptions into six new exemptions as set out under Annex 9 would help clarify what the exemptions are for and make the conditions clearer?

More Information

The detailed specific changes that we propose under Option 2 are set out in Annex 9. The proposed split of exemptions is as follows:

  • New S1 – for oils and similar wastes in secure containers
  • New S2 – for commonly collected recyclables for recovery elsewhere
  • New S4 for wastes at dockside prior to import/export
  • New S5 for solid hazardous wastes
  • New S6 for other non-hazardous wastes
  • New S7 for construction wastes

Under this proposal, the existing S3 condition would remain unchanged

Annex 9

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67 . Do you think that operators should be required to keep and make available to the regulator records of the activities carried under any exemption?

68. Should operators be required to keep the records required in an electronic format and/or in a system identified by the regulator?

69. Do you think that the regulator should be able to impose additional information requirements for individual exemptions on a case by case basis at registration, on an ongoing basis or at end of operation to address issues of poor compliance?

70. Do you think any additional information requirements should be implemented immediately, notably in relation to the 10 exemptions of concern described in section 4.2?

71. Do you have any suggestions on how you think the exemptions registration service can be improved further?

72. Do you support the changes to the waste codes set out in Annex 10?

Annex 10

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73. If we change the conditions for the exemptions of concern would, you support the alignment of conditions across exemptions proposed in Annex 11?

Annex 11

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74. Do you think that the standard rules for the ten exemptions set out in Annex 12 are sufficient? Are new standard rules also needed?

Annex 12

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75. Do you think that the proposed timescales to implement the changes to the exemptions regime are adequate?

Proposed transitional timescales

We propose that:

  • Operators registering an exempt waste operation from the date that the Regulations come into force will have to comply with the new Regulations.
  • Operators with exemptions that were registered before the regulations come into force will be able to continue to rely on the pre-existing conditions of those exemptions until they expire or 18 months from when the new regulations come into force whichever is sooner.

76. Have you experienced an increase or a decrease in criminality and poor performance in the waste sector over the last few years?

77. Overall, how effective do you think Options 2 and 3, as described in the impact assessment, would be to tackle criminality and poor performance in the waste sector?

What is your preferred option - select one preference

78. Do you think that any of the proposals will impose additional costs on yourself or your organisation?

79. Do you think that the proposed analytical approach appropriately covers all potential costs and benefits that would arise from implementing the proposals?

80. Do you think that any of the costs and benefit covered in the impact assessment should not be accounted for in the costings?

81. Do you have any evidence that would support the calculation of benefits or costs of the exemptions proposals to business?