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UK Acts and Regulations

Here is a brief guide to some of the UK Acts and Regulations concerning waste and waste management.
The complete text of these and others can be found at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts.htm and at most Public Libraries.

The Environment Protection Act 1990

This act seeks "to re-enact the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act, 1974 relating to waste on land ... and to make further provisions in relation to such waste"

It deals with the formation of waste disposal companies.

The Act prohibits unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste.

With regards to domestic waste, the Act states that it is the duty of the waste collection authority to collect such waste without charge. It also states that the authority may require the householder to place his/her waste in particular receptacles and to separate waste for recycling. The authority may also make provision regarding certain substances and articles of waste and any precautions that are to be taken with respect to these. Any person who fails to comply with this, without reasonable excuse shall be liable to summary conviction.

Under the Act, the relevant authorities are required to investigate the recycling of household and commercial waste and make plans accordingly. The Act gives waste collection and disposal authorities certain powers for the purpose of recycling waste.

Finally, the 1990 Act requires that the waste regulation authorities must plan waste disposal such that harm to the environment and human health is prevented or minimised.

The full text of this Act can be found at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/

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The Batteries and Accumulators (Containing Dangerous Substances) Regulations 1994, UK.

These regulations translate the 1991 EC Battery Directive into UK law. The Regulations ban the sale of alkaline batteries that contain more than a certain amount of mercury (which is toxic).

The Environment Act 1995

Out of Part I of this Act, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Environment Agency (EA) were born. Chapter II defines the powers and functions of SEPA.

Sections 92 -95 of the Part V of this Act deals with waste issues. Section 92 / 44B instructs SEPA to prepare a National Waste Strategy in order to implement the EC Waste Framework Directive.

The full text of this Act can be found at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/

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The Waste Minimisation Act 1998

This enables local authorities to arrange for waste minimisation in their areas.

The full text of this Act can be found at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts

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The Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999

This provides for the implementation of The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (96/61/EC). It deals with integrating pollution prevention and control and regulating activities that cause pollution, particularly emissions. Schedule I is concerned with establishing standards, objectives and regulations with regards to emissions. It prohibits any plants from operating without a permit and from contravening the conditions of that permit. It enables anyone to compile information on emissions.

The full text of this Act can be found at www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/

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