Waste: Exports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of The Bishop of Salisbury The Bishop of Salisbury Bishop

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (HL226), what assessment they have made of how waste that is returned to its site of origin following inspection, or prevented from reaching ports, is (1) managed, and (2) processed, once returned to its site of origin.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State

The Environment Agency (EA) is the competent authority for waste shipments for England. The actions taken by EA officers when they prevent a proposed waste shipment leaving a site or leaving a port will be determined on a case by case basis. When EA officers stop a shipment of waste at port, they oversee the return of the waste to either the site of origin or to an appropriately permitted waste facility. Waste can be held at port until the EA are satisfied that those responsible for the shipment have put appropriate measures in place to manage the waste in accordance with the relevant waste legislation. EA intervention at sites of loading will include officers explaining to businesses why waste cannot be exported, for example if there is evidence of poor waste quality or paperwork issues, and this intervention activity prevents thousands of tonnes of waste from being illegally exported each year. The EA addresses the illegal export of waste using an intelligence-led approach and EA officers will continue to monitor the compliance of those deemed at risk of illegal export, ensuring improvements are made and future shipments are compliant with the regulations.

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