Non-compliance is not acceptable. The Planet is not a dumping ground.
The BBC recently published a shocking story about the discovery of illegally shipped waste being sent to Romania. Waste considered to be worthless, unable to recycle or do anything with is just discarded to another country. Waste crimes like this have been going on for far too long and it is simply unacceptable. It is damaging to the environment and to the reputation of our country and legitimate businesses managing their waste and resources in a responsible way.
Law enforcement on waste-related criminal activity has been poor and time and time again we see examples of waste crimes like this taking place. Non-compliance comes with a lot of risk. Whether it is prosecutions, fines, or long-term reputational damage. Sustainability is front and centre – as we saw from the recent COP26 summit where countries committed to the Glasgow Climate Pact. Non-renewable methods of waste disposal such as incineration and landfill are major contributors to carbon production and recycling, reuse and prevention must be built into business operations – rather than shamefully passing the problem onto someone else. There is no excuse. The waste seen in this BBC news story has value that could have been dealt with responsibly. To give an example, Reconomy set up and managed a project alongside Balfour Beatty Living Places to deconstruct and recycle 14,000 old street lamps and generate £34K of social value as part of the process.
Waste producers have a Duty of Care to ensure the responsible management of their waste. Waste handlers, carriers and management partners also have an important part to play in ensuring the responsible management of waste materials on behalf of their customers.
It is important to carry out checks on waste suppliers. Reconomy supports its customers with this by being there on-site to project manage and check the suitability of waste processes and waste processing journeys. We work with a large network of fully complaint suppliers providing a huge range of local services across the UK – all of which are constantly checked and vetted. We verify carrier registrations and disposal site locations as well as keeping up to date with the latest enforcements and prosecutions by regulators. These checks, along with copies of the documents are available on our Portal for our customers to view. We have a significant number of our suppliers going digital, using our apps and online tools to capture the legal documentation such as waste transfer notes. These checks and robust processes form an essential part of Reconomy’s ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations.
By seeking advice from a specialist, such as Reconomy, businesses procuring waste services can understand the options regarding waste and resource management, receive advice and guidance on how this can reduce costs and aid regulatory compliance, and ultimately help empower them to understand the options available for their business to make better decisions.