SEPA warns drivers to steer clear of illegal waste operators

date24 March 2016

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is calling on drivers to be aware of their responsibilities and ensure their vehicles are disposed of legally.

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Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the public also have a Duty of Care to ensure they only give their vehicle to an authorised person when it reaches the end of the road.

Waste vehicles should be taken, by you or a registered waste carrier, to an Authorised Treatment Facility. These SEPA authorised scrapyards are the only sites which can legally depollute your waste vehicle and issue you with a valid Certificate of Destruction.

Failure to use a registered waste carrier and obtain a valid Certificate of Destruction could mean you are held liable if the vehicle is fly-tipped or found at an illegal waste site at a later date.

Stuart Baird, SEPA North Area Manager, said:

It's easy to find out if an operator is legitimate by either checking the SEPA website or calling your local SEPA office. However some people don't investigate this as they are not aware that they could be held responsible for what happens to their vehicle after it is given to the operator.

"Illegal operators have an unfair advantage over licensed sites as they don't have the same overheads. Legitimate operators have to pay to ensure their site and practices don't impact on the environment and human health.

“Just because a site is classed as legitimate doesn't mean we can be complacent though. We inspect these sites on a regular basis to ensure they are complying with their licence, and we work with our partner organisations as necessary to take action against operators running illegal or non-compliant activities.”

SEPA recently carried out a project across the North and Central Highlands targeting several legitimate waste vehicle sites which were failing to achieve full compliance with the regulations.

Thorough inspections were undertaken at nine sites to ensure correct infrastructure and storage facilities were in place, and that depollution activities were being carried out in line with the regulations.

Out of the nine sites targeted, six became fully compliant as Authorised Treatment Facilities by investing in the equipment and infrastructure necessary to ensure the environment is protected.

Stuart added:

As Scotland's environmental regulator we have a responsibility to ensure that legitimate sites are continuing to meet their obligations. This project was carried out to deliver full compliance at the targeted sites, and we are pleased to report that through inter-office team working, great improvements have been achieved at most of these sites. We will continue to monitor these sites through routine inspections to help ensure they remain compliant."

You can check that an Authorised Treatment Facility is registered, and able to accept waste vehicles, by calling your local SEPA office or visiting: http://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/waste/end-of-life-vehicles/

You can also check that a company is a registered waste carrier by calling your local SEPA office or visiting: http://apps.sepa.org.uk/rocas/. Please contact your local SEPA office if you are concerned that a site or person may be operating without a licence or waste carrier’s registration.

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