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Hazardous waste registration – beware of inappropriate third-party fees

21 October 2005

The Environment Agency's requirement that veterinary practices register as producers of hazardous waste, which came into force on 16 July 2005, has given rise to some practices being coerced into paying unnecessary fees to third parties.

The RCVS has become aware that some waste management companies, including the PHS Group plc, have issued practices with letters offering to register premises on their behalf in return for a fee. The letter seen by the College did not require positive opt-in and gave a very short deadline for practices to opt-out. Practices not responding within the deadline were subsequently invoiced for a fee of £49. Letters were sent to practices that were not existing clients of PHS, although implying that this was the case. 

The RCVS would like to point out to practices that may receive such letters that they do not have to a pay for a service that they have not asked for, particularly if there was no existing client relationship. Furthermore, the actual cost of registration directly with the Environment Agency (EA) is £18 if carried out online, £23 by phone and £28 by post. 

However, the EA's requirement for premises to be registered is a valid one and practices do need to comply if more than 200kg of hazardous waste are produced at specified premises in any twelve-month period. These regulations only apply to England and Wales.  

More information can be obtained from the EA's Hazardous Waste Regulations Team hotline on 0870 850 2858 or from the EA website.


For more information please contact:
Lizzie Lockett (020 7202 0725)
External Affairs Department
Royal Collegeof Veterinary Surgeons



1.      The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of veterinary education.

2.      The new Hazardous Waste Regulations replaced the Specialist Waste Regulations in England and Wales on 16 July 2005.

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