The sector has been responding to George Osborne’s 2015 Budget.
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) welcomed the £4.2m Environment Agency fund to tackle waste crime. It said that, with costs rising for legitimate operators, there is greater incentive for criminals to risk prosecution for higher rewards.
Viridor director of external affairs Dan Cooke said: “Britain urgently needs to resource the fight against rising waste crime which threatens the sector’s development and our economic and environmental interests.”
The Renewable Energy Association’s chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska commended the “willingness” to invest in renewable energy infrastructure, but said that more commitment was needed for renewable heat and power generation.
FAB Recycling managing director Jason Cross wanted more on transport. He said motorists should be incentivised “to use more recycled non-safety vehicle parts, to enable them to keep their cars on the road for longer.”
Cross also expressed frustration at the lack of support for high-growth areas such as the dismantling industry, but noted that the reduction in corporation tax would help to ease the financial burden for companies in the recycling sector.
Greater investment was needed for anaerobic digestion plants according to Biffa chief executive Ian Wakelin. “Considering the UK produces 14.8 million tonnes of food waste a year, we are seriously lagging behind our EU counterparts when it comes to maximising this opportunity,” he said.
Wakelin acknowledged the landfill tax increase and said that it will keep Britain on track to reach EU 2020 targets.
The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment felt that the Budget was too focused on “traditional economic metrics” without considering the challenges for ensuring long-term sustainability.
Environmental finance partner at EY, Ben Warren, criticised the £1bn backing for the tidal lagoon power generation project in Swansea, considering the effectiveness of tried and tested renewables such as solar.
“It would be hugely beneficial for the UK renewables sector to see the same level of support for already proven and cost-effective renewables,” he said.
CIWM chief executive Steve Lee was disappointed the Government had not backed the call from the Communities and Local Government committee for tobacco taxes to fund the clean-up of cigarette-related litter. “This would have sent a strong signal that the Government is committed to supporting local government in its efforts to maintain local environmental quality in times of constrained budgets,” he said.