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Austerity measures could impact WasteDataFlow

Local authorities have expressed concern that Government austerity measures could impact on the quality of WasteDataFlow figures.

Ricardo Energy & Environment’s principal consultant, Simone Aplin, has been researching data on behalf of the RWM Ambassadors and presented some of her research on the final day of RWM.

Aplin said that Defra was looking to commit to releasing 8,000 datasets by April 2018.

Her presentation will feed into a wider report called ‘How better to collect waste data’, set to be released in the next few weeks.

She said council officers liked WasteDataFlow but questioned whether it would be updated as regularly as it is, due to potential cuts, and they were worried its accuracy could slip.

WasteDataFlow uses weight-based measurements to provide all the data for Defra’s quarterly household waste recycling statistics.

But Defra had told Aplin that it was committed to using data better, creating more links between different sets of figures, hence the transparency over datasets in 2018.

She said: “As more facilities are developed and that capacity gap gets smaller, it’s only if we’ve got accurate data that people will feel confident to invest to get us up to what we need.

“Infrastructure would be deployed much more quickly and confidently if we had that data.”

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