This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Ban on spreading untreated organic waste
New regulations will outlaw the spreading of untreated organic waste, it was announced today.
Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie was speaking as amendments to the existing Waste Management Licensing Regulations (1994) were implemented laid before Parliament, fulfilling the Executive's pledge to address this problem.The new Regs will come into force in 21 days time
The new rules will require blood and gut contents to be treated before landspreading. The landspreading operator will also have to prove agricultural benefit or ecological improvement to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, before spreading can start.
SEPA will also be given powers, under certain circumstances, to refuse to register an exemption application or remove an exemption from the register.
The amendments also update Certificates of Technical Competence, which demonstrate managers' competence to manage a waste management facility, in line with industry and legislative requirements.
Mr Finnie said:
"We are working for a cleaner and safer environment, and this step fulfils our commitment to affected communities across Scotland to tackle this problem.
"Foul smells, associated with spreading untreated blood and gut contents to land, should become a thing of the past under these new regulations.
"The regulations also allow SEPA to ensure that no harm comes to the environment as a result of this spreading."
The new regulations will come into force in 21 days.
2Details of the consultation held to on banning the spread of untreated organic waste, launched last December, can be viewed at:
3 Amendments to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994, Schedule 3, Paragraphs 7, 9 and 19(Exemptions)
The European Waste Framework Directive allows Member States discretion to provide exemptions from full waste management permitting (licensing) for disposal of waste at the place of production (except hazardous wastes) and for genuine waste recovery.
The UK-wide Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 include a number of such exemptions. However there have been recent allegations that of some of the exemptions are being subject to abuse for waste disposal rather than recovery, as intended.
There have also been a number of complaints, mainly in relation to foul smells produced when operators spread untreated blood and gut contents to land under such exemption.
A number of enquiries have been undertaken recently to investigate these allegations and complaints.
SEPA addressed the organic waste to land issue (including untreated blood and gut contents) in their report Strategic Review of Organic Waste Spread on Land, 1998. The Scottish Parliament Transport and Environment Committee 4th Report 2002 on Petition from the Blairingone and Saline Action Group also addressed the matter.
The House of Commons Select Committee Report, 1998 on Sustainable Waste Management investigated whether controls for spreading wastes on land were adequate to protect the environment and health. In the light of the Select Committee Report, UK research was subsequently commissioned to develop more precisely the criteria that determine whether the landspreading of particular wastes was likely to benefit agriculture or result in ecological improvement, and provide criteria to ensure the exemptions were not abused.
Following on from the results of these investigations, research and public consultation, carried out at the end of last year, the proposed amending Regulations were developed, and incorporate the various recommendations established from the research, investigations and consultation.
4 Amendments to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994, Regulation 4, Certificates of Technical Competence (COTC)
Competent handling of various types of waste is critical to safeguarding both public health and the environment. The 1994 Waste Management Licensing Regulations (WMLR) require staff in the industry to undertake training in order to gain the technical competence to manage activities authorised by a waste management licence.
The new qualifications are contained in amendments to the 1994 Regulations and follow on from a public consultation carried out at the end of last year
Changes to the qualifications detailed take account of recent developments within the industry. These include:
The introduction of the Landfill Directive - new waste acceptance criteria and changes in waste terminology to reflect new requirements to classify landfills as Hazardous, Non-Hazardous and Inert.
The effect of permitting sites under the PPC Regulations - changes in waste terminology to include Hazardous, Non-Hazardous and Inert.
Manager competence requirements for 'Closed Landfills' - a new COTC for operators of closed landfills (which are no longer controlled under a waste management licence).
Potential requirements raised by the Special Waste Consultation Paper - current Special Waste definition requires to be changed to Hazardous Waste.
The amending Regulations make it clear that similar qualifications obtained in EU member states are recognised in the UK.
(This obligation is met through the UK's implementation of Directive 92/51/EEC, the Second General System of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Education and Training.
The UK acknowledged in recent correspondence with the Commission that the linkage between the 1994 Regulations and the UK's implementation of the Directive was not as transparent as it could be. Therefore it is appropriate to show that the UK does recognise qualifications of other EU nations.