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Environmental Protection Act 1990

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Solid controlled wastes generated at the university are collected from various locations and are stored in large bins and kept behind the Ellison A building for disposal. It is kept safe from unauthorized access by locking it up in an enclosure. Neither within nor outside, signboards weren’t present. On the day of the site visit, it was noted that quite a few numbers of bins were overloaded and fortunately, nothing fell out on the ground like waste/leachate from those. It was also noticed that the housekeeping was not done in a proper manner. In addition, a combustible scrap cardboard box was also found on top of a bin which might have been placed due to insufficient space within any of the bins.

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The legislation that applies here is the Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) . It is termed as Waste on Land. Section 29 – 78 of EPA 1990 is dealt with under this section. Under section 34 of this act, the waste being produced/imported/disposed of/treated by an individual should be managed appropriately by them by adopting reasonable steps. This is the general duty of care, which when breached could lead to serious fines depending upon whether it is on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment. 

The duty of care is assisted with a code of practice . It aids a person in waste management by providing examples for the necessary steps that can be adapted to comply with the duty of care. As an example, if a producer of waste finds out that the waste they produce is transferred to an unsuitable and dodgy waste management team, which fails to take necessary care of it, then the producer is obliged to stop handling the waste in the first case and if necessary make the Environment Agency aware of the situation so that they can investigate and move into disciplinary proceedings against the concerned facility in this scenario. 

EWC makes it clear for the transporter about the handling procedures of the waste and where it needs to be taken to, for disposal. Under section 33 of the EPA 1990, it is prohibited to treat/deposit/store controlled waste in/on land or by a mobile plant that doesn’t fall within the terms of waste management license. The degree of fines and imprisonment vary for contraventions under section 33. For summary convictions, the fines can be unlimited with two years of imprisonment and for those on indictment, it will be five years with an unlimited fine. 

According to section 30 of the EPA 1990, the Waste Regulating Authority (WRA) varies with countries within the UK. Since the university is located in England, the authority is the Environment Agency (EA). They deal with wastes, contaminated land, flood management, concerns relating to estuaries, rivers, seas, and other water bodies etc. Functioning in about 14 areas within England, one of their top priorities is to continuously improve their regulatory work, shielding the environment from dangers and threats and thereby promoting sustainable growth. They are accountable for environmental permitting, issuing of licenses for hazardous waste, and also for waste carriers. 

WDA in this case is the Newcastle City Council as well. The typical functions of WDA are stated und er section 51 of EPA 1990. As per this, WDA can form contracts with private contractors or Local Authority Waste Disposal Contractors (LAWDC) for waste disposal. The contract must begin with tenders where they should receive at least 4. They should follow every aspect of environmental impacts while choosing the appropriate contractor and are not entitled to focus only on the one which is cheap. 

Apart from waste, the city council also deals with social care, council tax, libraries, parking services, etc. They aim to enhance the quality of our lives which helps for sustainable development of Newcastle upon Tyne. Last year, a new strategy was formed in Newcastle named as Newcastle Waste Strategy (NWS).  As per their records, £2.2m was spent on segregating and disposing of litter from the city. This urged them to start a campaign named “Your City Your Home” targeting to minimize the littering attitude of people.    

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