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Huge Reduction in UK Hazardous Waste to Landfill

UK Hazardous Waste to Landfill have reduced by 60% - January edition of Envirotech Magazine (Peebles Media).

The tonnage of hazardous waste being sent to landfill has plummeted by 60% since 2004, and more of it is being treated and recycled. These are the conclusions drawn by Envirotech Magazine from the latest figures revealed by the Environment Agency.

Martin Brocklehurst, the agency’s head of external programmes, has said that more items such as chemical wastes, contaminated soils and fridges are being treated and recycled. He said that as new legislation such as the Landfill Directive and Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations kick in there was a big shift in how the industry deals with hazardous materials.

In 2006, six million tonnes of waste was classified as hazardous waste in England and Wales, up by 12% on 2004, the last year for which there is a complete set of data.

However, Brocklehurst continued: “In part this increase can be attributed to changes in the rules on hazardous waste. It meant that more waste was classified as hazardous and so had to be handled differently.”

Others findings from the latest figures show that the quantity of hazardous waste that went to landfill fell by 1.4 million tonnes to 900,000 tonnes and that recycling and re-use increased to 1.3 million tonnes, up by more than 50% on 2004. And business sectors such as the oil and solvents industry are producing less hazardous waste.

HAZRED, a programme led by the Environment Agency with EU funding, has over the past three years helped small businesses in sectors including construction and metal treatment to manage waste more efficiently.

The agency is revising guidance and enforcement priorities for those involved in production and management of hazardous waste. It puts the onus on waste producers to ensure their outputs are properly classified and treated and set out the legal obligations of waste management operators to reflect recent changes in coding, treatment, recovery and disposal.

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