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Call to phase in food waste landfill ban

Waste leaders insisted a ban on sending food to landfill was a “vital step” as figures revealed around 169 English councils still have no separate food waste collections.

A senior figure on Vision 2020, a group chaired by former environment secretary Lord Deben looking at eradicating food to landfill, called for a “phased approach” - despite ministers appearing to have ruled out such a move.

Philip Simpson, commercial director of PDM, told MRW there were fundamental blocks to enforcing a ban straight away but that Government could prepare the right environment by communicating better with residents.

In an exclusive comment piece for MRW, he said: “We need to take a phased approach, ensuring that the right environment for change is achieved.

“A ban should follow at the end of a process which delivers cost effective infrastructure and keeps business drivers at the forefront.”

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However, waste minister Lord Taylor, left, gave a strong indication that Defra would not consider a ban on food to landfill.

In an exclusive MRW interview last week, he said he was “not a ban-type person.”

“Ban always sounds a little hard-edged. That is not the way you get the best out the industry,” he added.

WRAP figures published following a question in the House of Commons by Caroline Noakes MP (Con) this week, suggest England has plenty to do if it is to achieve its aim of keeping food waste from being landfilled.

The WRAP data, a snapshot taken on 29 February 2012, showed 169 English councils still send their food waste to landfill as residual waste while just five councils collect both food and garden waste.

Defra minister, Richard Benyon, added: “The Government has no plans to compel councils to adopt household food waste collections or encourage home disposal of food waste.

“Such decisions are for local councils, taking into account local circumstances including logistics, characteristics of the area, and the level of service that residents want.”

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