DOENI publish Code of Practice on Waste Management Duty of Care

September 3, 2012

The Department of the Environment has issued a Code of Practice on Waste Management Duty of Care in accordance with Article 5(9) of the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997. Breach of the Duty of Care requirements is an offence and can result in prosecution. If a prosecution were mounted then the Code is admissible in evidence in Court as to whether the accused took reasonable measures to comply with the Code.

The purpose of the Code of Practice is to provide practical guidance for everyone subject to the Duty of Care requirements. It applies to anyone who imports, produces, collects, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste, or who, as a broker or dealer has control of such waste. As well as setting out the general requirements of Duty of Care, the Code is split into a series of sections covering waste producers, carriers, managers, brokers, dealers and householders. This Code covers the Duty of Care relevant to all aspects of waste management.

To comply with the Duty of Care all persons must take reasonable steps, based on the way in which they hold waste, to:

1. prevent the escape of waste or waste causing pollution or harm while you hold it and ensure that those you transfer waste to have also taken steps to ensure that it does not escape whilst it is in their possession;

2. provide written information which describes the waste, when you transfer it to another person, sufficiently well to allow them to comply with their duties;

3. ensure that you only transfer waste to a person authorised to receive it;

4. demonstrate that you have taken into account the Waste Hierarchy when making decisions on the management of your waste (Article 4(2) of the Directive allows Member States to depart from the hierarchy for specific waste streams in order to deliver the best environmental outcome. However, this has to be justified by life-cycle thinking on the overall impact of generating and managing these waste streams); and

5. prevent contravention by other persons of duties they may have under other relevant legislation.
For further information on the Code of Practice please contact Karen Blair.

Please note: The content of this article is for information purposes only and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor before any action is taken.
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