Businesses across West Norfolk are being urged to take more responsibility when it comes to disposing of their waste properly following a national survey which revealed a lack of awareness.
Almost half the businesses in the east of England admitted to practices which meant they were not complying fully with the law.
A new survey by “right Waste, right place” showed that while 97 per cent of businesses in the region thought they complying with obligations under waste Duty of Care law, many were leaving themselves open to unlimited fines, prosecution and potential closure due to their lack of awareness.
The survey mainly focused on small and medium-sized businesses and found that in the eastern region, 46 per cent of businesses didn’t know where all their waste goes when it leaves site. Over a third also admitted to not being sure whether they completed or kept essential Waste Transfer Notes, a key requirement. And many were unsure on how to correctly classify all the waste materials they handled.
By not complying, businesses risk waste falling into the hands of criminals, leading to environmental, health and safety risks through fly-tipping and illegal disposal.
In West Norfolk alone, over 2,100 incidents of fly-tipping were recorded in 2014-15, costing taxpayers over £66,000 in investigations and clearance.
In response, the ‘right Waste, right Place’ campaign has been launched to help businesses understand what is expected of them. Centred on an interactive website (www.rightwasterightplace.com) and run by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the campaign is supported by the Environment Agency (EA) and Chartered Institution for Wastes Management (CIWM) and offers practical advice on how to manage waste safely and efficiently.
Sam Corp, head of regulation at the ESA, said: “Small businesses really want to do the right thing but many are ultimately not complying with the law. Dealing with your waste can fall down the list of priorities when busy, but business people in the East of England need to realise that they are risking significant penalties if they do not comply.”
Local businesses can find simple guides, Need to Know cards, case studies and videos online at www.rightwasterightplace.com or by emailing email@example.com.