§ Mr. Morley
The UK has made use of its discretion under Article 11(1)(b) of the Waste Framework Directive (75/442/EEC as amended by 91/156/EEC) to provide an exemption from the licensing requirements of Article 10 for composting operations. Licence exemptions are a less onerous form of control than licences and are provided to encourage the recycling of waste.
The current composting exemption restricts the location of composting operations either to the place where the waste is produced or where the final composted material is to be used. We have recently carried out a consultation exercise on the revision of this exemption. The proposed revision would allow waste to be collected from numerous sources and, after composting, to be distributed. We also propose to widen the current exemption to include screening, chipping, shredding, cutting, pulverising or storage of the waste as part of a composting operation. One of the aims of the review is to encourage the recycling of waste by composting by ensuring that the regulatory controls are applied to communal and other composting operations in a way which is proportionate to the risk to the environment and human health.
§ Mr. Morley
The lists of waste disposal and recovery operations that currently require a licence are set out in Articles 9 and 10 of and Annexes IIA and IIB to the Waste Framework Directive (75/442/EEC as amended by 91/156/EEC). Composting is included in Annex IIB. The European Commission is currently conducting a consultation exercise on a Communication entitled "Towards a thematic strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste". In the light of a study being undertaken on behalf of the Commission, the Communication proposes a review of the Annex IIA and IIB lists. The UK attended a workshop held by the Commission in July 2003 to discuss its study; and UK intends to submit a response to the Commission's Thematic Strategy consultation which ends on 30 November 2003.
§ Mr. Morley
The. Department has recently carried out a consultation exercise in England and Wales on the revision of the current licensing exemption for composting. A regulatory impact assessment (RIA) was published as part of this consultation exercise and is available on the Department's website. The RIA records that the proposed revision will principally affect about 90 sites operated by members of the Community Composting Network (CCN); other establishments or undertakings which are not part of CNN may be affected but it has not been possible to estimate their number; and that 30 of the 90 CNN sites will not pay exemption charges because they compost less than 10 tonnes of waste a year.