Construction Sites Reminded About Waste Disposal Duty Of Care

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Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

Construction Sites Reminded About Waste Disposal Duty Of Care

Construction Sites Reminded About Waste Disposal Duty Of Care

Construction companies around the UK have been reminded of their responsibilities where waste and rubbish from building sites is concerned, as mishandling of this can be hugely damaging to public health, local communities and the environment.

The Environment Agency has issued a call for all construction and demolition sites that produce, transport, treat or dispose of waste to make sure that their duty of care is properly fulfilled.

Hazardous chemicals and toxins can be present in some waste, such as asbestos, and this can’t be taken to saste sites that have only been set up to receive the likes of sand and clay. Builders are legally required to make sure that site waste is sent to legal waste collectors and failure to do so can result in being issued with a £50,000 fine.

The last 12 months, the Environment Agency has had to take action against those illegally collecting and dumping waste originating from builders and construction sites. In some instances, workers had to be admitted to hospital after the collection of contaminated waste, while career criminals have made millions in handling waste that they simply burn or bury.

The dumping of construction waste can cause serious harm to the environment, leading to air, ground and water pollution, as well as odour issues. It is essential that construction businesses use registered waste carriers to collect, recycle and dispose of site waste. It is also important to ensure that waste is accurately described so that it can be managed safely.

Head of waste regulation at the Environment Agency Malcolm Lythgo said: “We have seen many issues arising from builders not checking who they pay to take their site waste away. Failing to deal with construction and demolition waste properly could cause injuries or illness, increase fly-tipping and put your livelihood at risk.

“As England’s waste regulator, the Environment Agency will take action against people who don’t follow their duty of care and so harm people and the environment.”

Fly-tipping, in particular, has been a big problem over the last year or so, as a result of the pandemic. With tips and recycling centres closed because of lockdown restrictions during the first wave of the coronavirus crisis, fly-tipping seemingly became more acceptable.

According to the Guardian, ClearWaste – a UK-wide app that sends independent reports of waste dumping to local councils – saw a huge spike in April 2020. It also saw a 74 per cent rise in activity for July, almost two months after the majority of recycling centres and dumps reopened.

App founder and campaigner Martin Montague explained that while waste facilities were open, they were operating at a reduced capacity, with many being booked up for weeks in advance. Many were also no longer taking building waste, hence the rise in fly-tipping.

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