The Environment Agency is an executive non-departmental public body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whose principal aims are to protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development. Our waste operations comply with the limits and conditions of our T11 exemption, providing a low risk of harming human health or the environment. This is set out through yearly audits ensuring our organisation:
- Understands those limits and conditions set out by the exemption.
- Is carrying out our waste operation in accordance with the limits and conditions.
- Are not posing a risk to water, air, soil, plants or endangering human health.
- Are not causing a nuisance through odours or noise.
Environment Agency licensing is an absolute minimum, we go beyond that by ensuring our internal processes are as green as we possible, we send zero IT waste to landfill and do not export overseas. There are hundreds of unauthorised companies exporting electrical waste to Africa where the hazardous substances released during dismantling and disposal operations are particularly severe, such as the burning of cables to liberate copper and of plastics to reduce waste volumes. Dismantling activities are carried out by children from the age of 12, however younger children from the age of five are sometimes engaged in light work. Dealing with e-waste presents a serious environmental and health challenge for many countries, and the UK is the dominant exporting country to Africa for both new and used electrical equipment.
Reduce is about asking whether you actually need to buy a new product. Do you need to buy a new product every year? Could you do without it or could you borrow it instead? When you have finished with a product, it doesn’t have to go straight in the bin and on to landfill – perhaps it could be reused. Could someone else find it useful? If not, can it be recycled?
Five reasons to recycle:
- 1. We are running out of space in landfill sites.
- 2. When electrical and electronic products are buried in the ground, they release potentially dangerous toxins into the earth.
- 3. Rubbish spoils the natural environment and can harm animals’ habitats.
- 4. The earth’s natural resources are limited, so we need to make sure that we preserve them and use them carefully.
- 5. Every time we buy a new product rather than reuse or borrow one, we are using up the earth's natural resources.