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Cost will determine green policy, says Stewart

Resources minister Rory Stewart has responded to industry calls for stronger green waste laws by saying that cost will be a key policy factor.

At a stakeholder meeting in July, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) called on Stewart to make separate green waste collections mandatory and ban disposal of biodegradable wastes to landfill.

REA technical director Jeremy Jacobs and head of biogas Kiara Zennaro then wrote to the minister to outline their priorities for the composting and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors.

Defra resources minister

Stewart (left) wrote an “encouraging” response, professing support for growth in the AD sector to maximise waste, agriculture and energy benefits.

But Jacobs told MRW: “We mentioned that we were looking for additional growth through the mandatory collection of food waste and a ban on all biodegradable waste to landfill.

“His response was that if this was to cost more then it was not going to be supported at this time as cost control was of the utmost importance for local authorities.”

Defra later confirmed to MRW the views attributed to Stewart.

WRAP, the Resource Association (RA) and other trade bodies also briefed Stewart and Defra officials at the stakeholder meeting.

Other topics discussed included the European Commission’s revised circular economy package, which may include recycling targets for municipal solid waste.

The RA suggested that the Government should consider calling for an alternative measurement based on residual waste per capita.

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