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Councils want bigger slice of waste value

Local authorities should be able to get a larger slice of the value in the waste management supply chain, according to initial responses to the Local Government Association’s (LGA) waste review.

Some of the major topics being discussed as part of the review are creating a fairer distribution of the benefits of the waste management industry across the entire supply chain and a better share of responsibility for waste costs.

LGA advisor Dan McCartney told MRW that local authorities were subsidising the waste management supply chain to an extent, and that the review could look at how some could extract more value from their role in collections and resource managment.

“Some local authorities will want to keep things how they do them, some will be up for a bit more risk if there is value to be had,” he said.

Reporting the themes from responses to a call for evidence at an LGA Environment and Housing board meeting, deputy chair Clyde Loakes said the review would avoid following traditional debates and look at new ideas.

“It could be banning more things from landfill and looking at ‘producer pays’ principles,” said Loakes.

Also among ideas floated so far are: Allowing councils to become involved in the packaging recovery note system, for example as accredited issuers; limiting exports and dealing with recycling in the UK to boost economic growth and create local jobs; and a greater focus on domestic infrastructure to deal with recycling.

The board, which launched the review in January, said it wanted to provide the means for local government to proactively lead the future direction of waste policy.

Other emerging themes from the review included the need to highlight the contribution of the waste management sector to the provision of jobs and economic growth.

According to figures from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the sector employs around 128,000 people and has a turnover of around £7.5bn.

Further discussions will continue over the next couple of months with draft recommendations in May and the launch of the review in June.

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