The collection of waste by waste collectors is subject to compliance with applicable environmental and other relevant legislation, primarily the Waste Management Act 1996 and conditions attached to each waste collector’s collection permit issued under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2007 as amended.
Each collector must hold a valid permit issued by the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO). The NWCPO recently reviewed and strengthened the permit conditions attaching to each collectors permit.
Measures introduced since 2015 to strengthen the regulation of the household waste collection market include the requirement that:
- household kerbside waste, collected in approved reusable receptacles (such as bins or caddies, but not bags), must be weighed by appropriate weighing systems. This weight must be reported to the householder at a frequency of at least once a month and only vehicles fitted with approved weighing mechanisms are authorised to collect such waste.
- recyclate collected from households must be collected at least every two weeks and that a minimum list of recyclable materials set out in the seventh schedule to the Regulations must be collected.
- a customer charter be prepared by all waste collection companies. Pay-to-Use compactors (PTUs), in line with the obligations for kerbside (household) collectors, must provide separate receptacles to accept residual, recyclable and household waste, and each and every deposit of individual waste be weighed using an approved weighing mechanism. This weight must also be reported to the householder.
- companies providing PTUs must prepare customer charters and PTUs must accept a minimum list of recyclable materials.
Fixed payment notices (also known as ‘on the spot fines’) have also been introduced for certain breaches of permit conditions.