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QPA-inspired consultation heralds fair deal on inert waste

THE Quarry Products Association will shortly be submitting its response to a consultation on inert waste regulation being held by Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Environment Agency.

The review of the regulations follows recommendations in the 2006 Davidson Report for a more ‘proportionate’ approach to inert waste, in direct response to calls from the QPA.

Currently, the use of inert waste in quarry restoration is generally considered ‘waste disposal’ under what the QPA describes as over-zealous UK regulations, with producers of such wastes more inclined to take these materials to unlicensed disposal sites where regulation is less restrictive.

 

As a result, some quarry operators are finding that effective restoration is becoming more difficult to carry out in some areas with inert wastes going elsewhere. This in turn can make it more difficult to secure new mineral permissions, which are contingent on completing agreed restoration plans.

The QPA hopes the consultation will create a simplified regulatory landscape that will allow inert waste to be used constructively for restoration, an outlet that the Association feels matches the Government’s aims to ‘minimize burdens on business, while securing outcomes which maximize resource efficiency’.

To ensure that all parties in the inert waste debate are as informed as possible, the QPA has joined together with Defra to run a special workshop covering the issue. This will take place on Wednesday 13 February at Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London, and the industry and other stakeholders are encouraged to take advantage of the session.

Commenting on the consultation, the QPA’s director general, Simon van der Byl, said: ‘We have long campaigned for a level playing field for inert waste regulation and this consultation is evidence that government has listened to the QPA and is welcomed by the industry.

‘The joint QPA/Defra workshop is another opportunity for the sector to engage with the issue and ensure that all views are fed into what will become the solution for the burden of existing regulation.’

 

 

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