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[United Kingdom]
Posted on : Nov 11, 2008

An initiative to change the so-called ‘Paragraph 45’ exemption for metal
recyclers by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
has incensed the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA). ‘Paragraph 45’ from
the UK Waste Management Licensing involves the scrap metal recovery exemption
for waste management. It also covers the dismantling of waste motor vehicles
from which any potentially polluting substances such as the oil, anti-freeze and
fuel have already been removed.

Defra’s plans to revise current Paragraph 45 metal recycling exemptions will
result in additional burdens on business and will discourage the small operator
from recycling, says the BMRA.

The BMRA has written to Defra outlining its opposition to the changes the
department proposes to make to Paragraph 45 recycling exemptions. The
Association highlighted the potential additional regulatory burden on small
businesses; lack of evidence that the current system is failing, and the revised
regulatory regime being out of proportion to identified risks, as areas of

Commenting on Defra’s consultation, Lindsay Millington, Director General of the
BMRA says: ‘In proposing changes to Paragraph 45 exemptions for metal recyclers,
Defra is out-of-step with recent Government announcements, which promise to
protect small businesses and lighten regulation during the economic slowdown.’
According to Mrs Millington, Defra’s proposals will put a squeeze on small-scale
recyclers by adding to their administrative burden and increasing operating
costs. Defra’s changes will also make it easier for sites operating on the
margins of the system to appear part of the regulated community, she adds‘In our
view Defra has failed to make a case for change. Metal recycling is a key
activity for UK plc. Compared with other materials streams metal recycling is
low risk and regulation needs to be proportionate to risk, not

The BMRA says the industry has been subjected to a series of regulatory changes
in recent years and in current trading conditions needs to be left to
concentrate on operational rather than policy matters. ‘Now is not the time to
review the metals recycling exemption. There are no environmental benefits to
Defra’s Paragraph 45 suggestions, only the risk of economic damage to a business
sector that contributes £5 billion to the UK’s balance of payments, ’ Lyndsay
Millingtonn goes on. The BMRA is calling on Defra to abandon plans for change
and to retain Paragraph 45 exemptions in their current form.
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