Defra says it is still assessing the exact implications of the draft decision made at the European Commission to change the way digestate and composting is classified.
In July, the Revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD) Technical Adaptation Committee backed regulations stating that only biowaste meeting end-of-waste criteria could be classed as ‘recycling’ with the rest labelled as ‘recovery’.
The decision could spell trouble for those local authorities that have introduced green waste and/or food waste collections to increase their recycling rates and hit statutory targets. It could mean they will have to ensure their material meets end-of-waste criteria to stay under the ‘recycling’ bracket.
A Defra spokesperson said: “We’re looking closely at the detail of the recent decision on how food waste and composting should be classified under EU recycling targets.
“People want to do the right thing and recycle more, and we’ll be working closely with local authorities and the waste industry to make sure efforts to do just that are recognised.”