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The Environment Agency Reveal Risk-Based Regime For Waste Collectors’ Compliance

With the world becoming ever more focussed on recycling, waste collection is something that is extremely important. The Environment Agency (EA) outlined, in December 2014, a new “risk-related” regime that applies to waste collecting authorities and companies when dealing with household waste.

New Risk-Related Compliancy Checks

According to new regulations published last year by the EA, all waste collectors and recycling services in the UK must have “separate collections for waste paper, metal, plastic and glass when they are necessary to ‘facilitate or improve recovery’ and are ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP).’” Furthermore, collectors must be able to provide the EA with TEEP tests when requested as well.

The risk element is where it is deemed necessary to have separate collections for the above waste categories. The EA can also request tests to deem if this is necessary and it’s up to waste collectors to provide them when required. There are also various levels of compliance that can be met, depending on the efficiency of the collection service. The guidelines for compliancy levels are as follows:


Waste collectors will be seen as achieving ‘high’ compliance if they:

  • Provide on-site or doorstep separate collection, or kerbside sorting of each paper, glass, plastic and cans streams.
  • Have rigorously applied the Necessity and TEEP tests and arrangements are based on well-evidenced, documented and justified decision-making.


Collectors will be deemed to be achieving medium levels of compliance if:

  • A collector is “prescriptive” about the type of collection/sorting service it is tendering for, unless it is clear it wants a multi-stream/separate collection;
  • Collectors send co-mingled collections to a materials recovery facility (MRF) that is producing “poor-quality recyclables”.
  • Collectors have moved from separate collections to co-mingled collections since 2012 (or have renewed co-mingling systems since 2012).
  • One or more of the four target materials are only collected through civic amenity or bring bank sites.


Collectors will be classified in the lowest level of compliance if:

  • Collectors have taken no, or little, attempt to apply the regulations
  • They do not respond to requests for information from the EA
  • They deliberately send “good-quality recyclate” for disposal, incineration, or remix them with other wastes.
  • They are known to be causing environmental harm or partaking in illegal activity such as mis-description or illegal export of waste.

How Can You Apply These Principles To Commercial Waste?

These regulations may not apply to you and your business, but this doesn’t mean you can learn a few lessons and make your on-site waste management a lot more efficient. In the same way that a lot of different waste streams may be separated, such as plastic bottles kept separate from old newspapers, so too can you ensure that your site’s waste is sorted into separate categories.

Placed in individual areas, each waste stream can then be collected easier by the waste and recycling service. This, in turn, makes disposal a doddle as there will be no need to separate different forms of rubbish from each other. All in all, this makes for a much cleaner, more efficient work site. After all, nobody likes unnecessary rubble or waste lurking around an area where work is still being undertaken.

Contact Recycling Services For Innovative Waste Services

At Recycling Services Recycling Services we offer a comprehensive range of recycling management services from trade wheelie bins to bulk recyclable collections. Operating across the UK, we provide nationwide commercial waste collection services, recycling containers and staff training to ensure all aspects of your waste is covered.

For more information on commercial and industrial recycling waste collection services, please call us today on 01952 204471 or email

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