The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are currently reviewing a law which requires councils to provide waste disposal to institutions such as schools and hospitals free of charge which could potentially save local authorities substantial sums of money.
A Defra spokeswoman said: We are currently reviewing Schedule 2 of the Controlled Waste Regulations and we are commissioning a study to investigate the quantities of waste that are likely to be affected by any changes to the regulations. This study should report in the summer 2009.
In response to this statement, Local Government Association policy officer Tony Ripley said: We are hopeful that this will lead to a change in the regulations allowing councils the power to charge for disposal costs should they wish to. This would bring arrangements in line with the polluter pays principle providing a greater incentive for Schedule 2 institutions to reduce their waste.
We are grateful for the receptiveness with which Defra has listened to our concerns but we would like to see greater urgency as this issue could have a sizeable impact on council finances. Council finances are constrained across the board at the moment.