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Environment (Wales) Act 2016

Section 66 - Prohibition on disposal of food waste to sewer

257.Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a broad duty of care on any person who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste or, as a dealer or broker, has control of such waste, to take all reasonable measures to prevent, amongst other things, any unlawful deposit of waste by another person, or any contravention of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

258.Section 66 inserts section 34D into the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which in subsection (1) bans the disposal of food waste to public sewer from non-domestic premises in Wales. Under the prohibition, the occupier of any non-domestic premises must not dispose of food waste to a public sewer or to any drain that discharges to a public sewer. Non-domestic premises include business and public sector premises but do not include, for example, private houses. The operation of subsection (1) is subject to a power of the Welsh Ministers, in subsection (6)(a), to specify in regulations the circumstances in which subsection (1) is to apply. This power, in conjunction with the general power to make different provision for different purposes in subsection (7), permits the Welsh Ministers to take account of the wide range of premises and circumstances in which the prohibition on disposal of food waste will apply.

259.Subsection (2) sets out exceptions to the prohibition in subsection (1). Occupiers of domestic property and caravans are excepted. Subsection (2) is subject to a power of the Welsh Ministers in subsection (6)(b), in conjunction with the power in subsection (7), to make regulations providing for subsection (1) to apply subject to exceptions in addition to those in subsection (2). Like the power in subsection (6)(a), this will enable the Welsh Ministers to take account of changing circumstances and government policy.

260.Food waste is defined in subsection (5). Subsection (6)(c) provides a power for the Welsh Ministers by regulations, to amend the definition of food waste.

261.Subsection (3) of section 34D provides that failure to comply with the prohibition in subsection (1) without a reasonable excuse will be an offence, and by virtue of subsection (4) such an offence is triable summarily in the Magistrates Court or on indictment in the Crown Court. On conviction, the person committing the offence will be liable to an unlimited fine.

262.Section 66(2) of the Act makes a consequential amendment which clarifies that a trade effluent consent issued to an occupier by the sewerage undertaker under the Water Industry Act 1991 does not override the prohibition in section 34D against disposing of food waste to sewer. It ensures that anything exempted from the prohibition in section 34D by regulations made by the Welsh Ministers is capable of being regulated by the trade effluent regime.

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