Environment Agency pesters pest controllers

At a time when the Environment Agency has been criticised over its advice and handling of the terrible floods across our country, it seems odd that it should be pursuing a burdensome and costly new level of bureaucracy.

The EA now wants to create a paper trail for every item of pest control waste—such as rat baits left over from a treatment —and is threatening to charge pest controllers £5 per disposal item. For a busy pest controller this could amount to a whopping extra cost of £40 per day plus a great deal of time taken to fill in the documents and process them.

‘It is a threat hanging over the entire industry, which could add thousands of pounds per year onto the costs of the small to medium sized companies that make up the pest control industry,’ says Iain Turner, Chairman of the National Pest Technicians Association. ‘Pest controllers will have to produce more complicated paperwork than previously, which will require more admin time—and money—to deal with. We will also have to pay higher charges to dispose of the “spent bait” than previously as they have now decided it should be classified as “Hazardous Waste” rather than “Non-Hazardous”.’

It is a classic example of taxpayer-funded bureaucracies adding to the cost of small businesses in the UK.

‘Just to rub salt in the wounds,’ says Turner, ‘this change of definition only affects England and Wales—not Scotland or Northern Ireland. I understand that only Sweden has taken a similar approach to implementing what was an EU Directive. Once again our civil servants appear to be “gold plating” EU laws, to the detriment of small businesses in this country.’

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