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Councils' spending on waste management rises

2000 household bins

Local authorities in England are expected to increase their spending on waste and recycling by £200m this year, a growth of 5% over two years.

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) revealed that English councils have budgeted around £3.6bn in 2017-18 to pay for waste collection and disposal, recycling, waste minimisation and trade waste.

The net expenditure figures take into account charges, fees and sales.

In 2015-16, the outturn figure - the actual amount spent - stood at around £3.4bn. Expenditure on waste disposal has risen slowly but steadily during the past three, from £1.97bn to £2.17bn.

The cost of recycling in 2017-18 is expected to run to around £611m compared with £590m in 2015-16 and £569m in 2016-17.

Councils have greatly increased their profits from trade waste services. In 2016-17, they made a small loss, but in 2017-18 it is expected to bring in nearly £38m.

Waste collection expenditure has remained roughly similar in the past three years, and for 2017-18 it stands at £841m.

In 2015, a series of local authority budget cuts led to spending in England on waste collection and recycling shrinking by 12.2% and 7.6%, respectively.

This year has been marked by a number of councils renegotiating their waste management contracts, including the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority announcing it would scrap its £3bn, 25-year, PFI waste processing deal with the Viridor Laing joint venture.

Veolia has said it is looking to compromise with Sheffield City Council over the threat to terminate its contract and re-procure the city’s waste management arrangements.

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