26/02/2003

Businesses warned over waste management

Northern Ireland businesses have been urged to meet their duty of care commitments when dealing with waste.

Under new legislation, businesses must have open and transparent systems to demonstrate what they do with their waste.

In order to get the message across, DOE’s Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) has organised a series of roadshows throughout Northern Ireland in the last few weeks to highlight the message.

More than 30,000 people were invited to the roadshows which were held at: Manor House Hotel, Killadeas, Fermanagh; Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh; Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle; Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena; Armagh City Hotel, Armagh; and Everglades Hotel, Londonderry.

At the final roadshow in the Belfast Odyssey, NIO Minister Angela Smith said: “The roadshows organised by my EHS have provided an excellent opportunity for business people to obtain advice on the actions they need to take to comply with this legislation.

“Waste management is not somebody else’s duty – it is for each and every one of us. Our legislation is a cradle to grave approach."

The Duty of Care law, which came into force in October 1 last year, has been designed to make it more difficult for those involved in illegal waste management activities to continue to operate. The legislation places a legal responsibility on every business large or small in handling or disposing of waste to take necessary steps to keep it safe and prevent it from causing harm, especially to the environment or to human life.

Anyone who breaks the law could face up to £5,000 fine in a Magistrates court or an unlimited fine in the High Court. A helpline for Duty of Care (028 9054 6450) will remain available after these roadshows so that businesses can access further advice.

(GMcG)

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