13 July 2020


More important than the quest for certainty, is the quest for clarity

Francois Gautier

I am sure you will agree that the guidance provided by the Government on the changing COVID19 lockdown measures is far from clear. Furthermore, we can’t be certain about the risk from the virus even if we follow these guidelines. As a business owner, mother, sister and daughter I have had to make decisions about retuning my workforce to the office, having family visits etc. Due to the lack of clarity in the guidance I have felt a degree of uncertainty as to whether I am making the right decisions.

As a consultant, I regularly talk to people in the waste industry about waste regulation. I have recently recognised that my feelings of frustration over the lack of clarity and the uncertainty around the COVID19 guidance is very similar to the feeling that my clients have when navigating their way through guidance on waste regulation. They never quite, despite reading reams of guidance, feel that they fully understand all the potential implications of the regulations and guidance. On one hand you have information overload – pages and pages of text, with links throughout to even more pages, such that you can easily feel that you are being lost down a rabbit hole and maybe missing what you are looking for. On the other hand, you have the feeling that there is nothing in the guidance that fits your specific situation or answers a simple question. Unless you work with these regulations/guidance on a regular basis it is my view that you could easily get to the wrong conclusions/answer and the consequences could be severe.

So, what’s the answer?

Seek professional advice.

There will typically be a cost involved with this so ensure the professional you choose has the necessary experience and credentials. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Get some training.

Several organisations including CIWM, WAMITAB and private companies provide a range of courses on a variety of subjects.

Ask Google / You Tube.

Beware of old posts as this may not reflect the current situation. Of course .gov.uk has all the information but it can feel like eating an elephant. Millions of how-to videos can be found on these platforms however, from my searches, there is little to nothing to help you here regarding waste regulation.

The lack of helpful information in short video format produced specifically for the waste industry is the reason I have recently set up the Academy on the Westbury Environmental Limited website. The Academy contains videos to provide answers to the most common questions that I regularly get asked, along with more detailed training videos on a variety of topics. We also run a number of webinars during which attendees can ask questions. My focus is on increasing the content of The Academy to build this resource. Do get in touch if you are having problems getting answers to your queries, I am sure we can help. Or maybe drop us a line if there is a subject you would like to see covered by our training videos.