With a proposed reform of the waste industry including stricter background checks and a permit-based approach, background check companies need to explore what these changes could mean for businesses inside and out of the waste movement and how screening can help catch waste criminals.
The proposals were announced as part of a package of measures to tackle fly-tipping, illegal waste exports, and illegal dumping, as well as the environmental problems they can cause, including a proposed restrictive screening system to help stop rogue waste management firms.
How Screening Could Improve The Current System
At present, the system for managing waste carriers, brokers, and dealers require each firm to register themselves with the Environmental Agency, as either a lower-tier or upper-tier registration.
Lower tier businesses are waste carriers that only carry the waste that is produced by their business, with the specific exceptions of construction and demolition firms, whilst upper-tier firms are any firm that carries the waste of other businesses, construction/demolition waste, or act as a broker or dealer for waste.
The government intends to move away from the current system of classification and towards a system of permits that would involve background checks, greater accountability, and better identification of what responsibilities a waste movement business has.
Currently, the EA’s registration system allows anyone to set up a waste movement business without the types of competency screening or background checks one would expect given the responsibility of the sector.
Given the importance of background checks to ensure that the finance or legal sector functions effectively, the proposed changes would help the EA respond proactively to potential risks in the field of waste movement and bring this part of the waste industry in line with other environmental regulations.
At present, the Environment Agency can only reject or revoke a registration after a conviction has already been made for a relevant offence, and if, in the EA’s opinion, they should not act as a carrier, broker, or dealer in controlled waste.
The government’s proposals would simplify the carrier/broker/dealer system into a two-category system:
- Waste transporters who move waste as instructed, but are not involved with classification or its destination,
- Waste controllers are responsible for classifying waste, deciding where it is taken and making the arrangements for a transporter to move them.
This is similar, in some respects, to the data protection system of data processors and data controllers, with a focus on the different roles in ensuring waste is safely disposed of.
The New Proposed System
According to a government-run consultation of waste industry professionals, the government’s new proposal is to set up a series of permits for transporters, controllers and a combination permit for companies that do both, as well as a registered exemption system which allows for certain activities to be carried out without the need for a permit to be registered.
A priority of the background checks is to ensure technical competence and ensure that a business knows how to handle waste with the minimal risk possible to the environment and to people, which will vary depending on the type of waste handled.
So What? By moving to a permit-based system, the waste transportation industry understands the importance of background checks to ensure that the business or individual involved with such a vital task is capable of doing so safely.
If you require a market-leading background check company, contact Agenda Screening Services today.