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Councils offered separate collections advice

A ‘step-by-step’ publication to help local authorities with their legal obligations under the EU Waste Framework Directive has been launched.

The advice, issued by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and WRAP in the absence of official guidance from Defra, was developed in response to fears that councils might fall foul of EU law.

From 1 January 2015, waste collectors must collect paper, glass, metal and plastic by separate collection in order to comply with the Directive. This is unless it is not technically, economically and environmentally practicable (TEEP) to do so.

A number of figures within the waste and recycling industry feared that without TEEP guidance, councils or waste management companies could be subject to legal challenges.

WRAP and LWARB’s advice – drafted in conjunction with local authority waste networks – outlines how TEEP assessments might be carried out.

LWARB and WRAP insisted the document, called the Waste Regulations Route Map, is not classified as ‘guidance’.

It was peer reviewed by 20 English local authorities representing a “broad mix of current service provision and authority type, as well a being a mix of urban and rural authorities”.

Wayne Hubbard, LWARB chief operating officer, said: “It is a critical tool for local authorities, particularly those in a dense urban environment such as London, where space for recycling can be an issue. Local authorities will be able to use the Route Map to help them determine the best local solution that meets the requirements of the Regulations.”

James Fulford, director of Eunomia said: “The implications for the UK waste and resources sector of the Waste Framework Directive and the related UK Regulations are significant and pressing yet remain poorly understood.

“With statutory guidance no longer expected, various local authority representative organisations stepped into the breach to commission Eunomia to prepare the Waste Regulations Route Map.”

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management is to launch a consultation with its members on the document.

Chief executive Steve Lee said: “It offers the opportunity for local authorities to carry out their assessments in a consistent way that will stand up to scrutiny, and a common framework for those who wish to work together and share approaches.

“Waste collection and recycling is going through a period of change and uncertainty and it is unusual for support of this kind not to come from Government, given the strategic importance of the issues involved and the potentially far reaching consequences.

“In moving forward, it is important that we work as collaboratively as possible, ensure that the good work of councils and the industry in the last decade is not undermined, and maintain the public’s confidence in recycling.”

 

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