Challenges to Waste & Legal Minefield Following DEFRA’s Guidance


Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published fresh guidance on the legal definition of waste for UK industry and the broader business community.

Publication of the long-awaited documents follows the department’s consultation on draft guidance in January 2010. It is intended to assist businesses with day-to-day decisions on whether materials should be classed as waste, and also provides a detailed case law.

A DEFRA statement added “However, in some cases, the decision is more difficult (e.g where the substance or object has a value or a potential use or where the decision is about whether waste has been fully recovered or recycled and has therefore ceased to be waste).

“The aim of the guidance is to help ensure that the right decision is taken in these more difficult cases”.

Waste poses a threat to the environment and to human health if it is not managed properly and recovered or disposed of safely. The duty of care is aimed at anyone who has any responsibility for controlled waste to ensure that is is managed properly and recovered or disposed of safely, in order to prevent prosecution.

REC Geoenvironmental’s technical experts provide a complete waste testing and classification service to ensure that your project complies fully with the latest regulations. Please visit our Geoenvironmental pages for more details on the services we offer or contact us on 0845 676 9303 for more information.