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Commingled collections in WFD are a “clarification”

The inclusion of commingled collections in the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Direcitve (WFD) is “clarification for the avoidance of doubt” a political consultant has said.

Speaking to MRW, The Whitehouse Consultancy senior consultant Carl Thomson explained that there is a “great deal of flexibility” built into the directive, which is different from regulation.

Thomson said: “A European directive is different from a regulation, which sets out precise requirements that must be followed in order to achieve a goal. A directive sets an overall goal, this gives member states a great deal of flexibility over how they choose to implement that.”

Thomson added that the current WFD offers “quite a bit of leeway” over preferred collection methods. He added: “Certainly at the European level it [the WFD] doesn’t prohibit commingled recycling and doesn’t put anything in there to say it shouldn’t be considered. Of course it doesn’t specifically favour it, and that’s something I think will form part of the discussion about whether or not this does meet the requirement of the directive and whether it’s in the spirit of the directive.”

However, Thomson commented that he “doubted very much” whether the withdrawal of commingled recycling from the draft legislation would have any legal impact on the implementation of collection systems in the UK.

He said: “It’s simply a clarification for avoidance of doubt. If you were looking at abolishing commingled recycling altogether, there would need to be something specific in UK law to say that, and that’s not going to rise as a result of the judicial review.”

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