Easing on environmental regulations for SMEs

Proposals under the Government’s Red Tape Challenge will ease some of the environmental regulations that small businesses have to comply with.

The Government launched its ‘challenge’ last year to ease administrative burdens on small firms. Of 255 regulations, 132 will be improved through simplification or consolidation, while 70 will be kept as they are to uphold environmental protections.

Before regulations are changed they are likely to be subject to further public and stakeholder consultation. The main changes on waste and recycling include:

  • Waste Transfer Notes – looking to use other forms of evidence, such as invoices, to record the required information. An electronic recording system is to be introduced from January 2014, to curb any unnecessary administration
  • Hazardous Waste – the Environment Agency is looking to extend the current system to allow direct electronic upload of hazardous waste returns to reduce paperwork and is looking to publish simplified and reduced guidance for recording hazardous waste disposal before summer 2012
  • Waste Carriers, Brokers and Dealers – looking for an exemption from the European Commission for micro businesses to register to transport their own waste, under the carriers, brokers and dealers registration requirements
  • Fly-Tipping – working with local authorities to open up household waste & recycling sites  and kerbside collections for small businesses. Also looking to improve advice on charging structures; addressing infrastructure gaps and storage constraints
  • Site Waste Management Plans – removing regulations for construction projects that cost more than £300,000 to prepare a site waste management plan

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