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C&U query on guards ,mlarrtocrhsfosrlotgraunck

4th September 1997
Page 12
Page 12, 4th September 1997 — C&U query on guards ,mlarrtocrhsfosrlotgraunck
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

by Rob Willock • A recent European Court ruling on the definition of "waste" has caused an inconsistency in British Construction & Use rules.

The ruling in June held that recyclable material is simply "waste" (CM 14-20 August), and under C&U regulations vehicles collecting waste do not require sideguards. But the Department of Transport insists that vehicles involved in recycling operations must continue to be protected.

Richard Gurney, of West Midlands bodybuilder LinkTip, says his company is preparing refuse collection vehicles for use in a local authority recycling operation. The company's registered plating station advises that it will fail the vehicles if no sideguards are fitted, despite the European Court ruling.

Manchester transport lawyer Jonathan Lawton says: "It's a bizarre view for the plating station to take. The Department of Transport is having a bit of a dizzy spell on sideguards at the moment."

Gurney says that the DOT has always justified its stance on this matter with the argument that material put out for recycling was not classed as waste, primarily because it had a value. But that view is now redundant, he claims.

A spokesman for the DOT says the real reason vehicles collecting waste are exempt from sideguards is that they often have to dump their waste off-road.

Recycling facilities, however, usually have levelroad access.

"We realise there is some controversy in the matter and are looking into it," adds the spokesman. "But for now, the plating station is exactly right."

• Management and staff at Leigh Environmental will play a key role in the future development of the business, following its merger with General Utilities, pledge both companies. French-owned General Utilities last week made a recommended cash offer to shareholders in Leigh Interests. The merger will create the UK's biggest waste disposal business by turnover. Existing employment rights, including pensions rights, will be safeguarded, promises General Utilities.

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