Gains to be made from working together were highlighted on the opening day of the annual Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) conference, held in Telford this year. LARAC chair Lee Marshall told his local authority audience: If we operate as a collective industry our journey will be shorter, nicer and more satisfying. And he took the opportunity to congratulate his fellow local authority peers in light of recently released figures indicating that England had achieved a national recycling rate of 30%. Well done, you deserve it and you dont often hear it, Marshall said. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) head of waste strategy Daniel Instone was equally positive: A lot of this progress is due to the actions by local authorities and you deserve a lot of congratulations for your achievements. In discussing the Governments Waste Strategy for England, released earlier this year, Instone was keen to push the need for collaborative effort: The central message is that this is a shared responsibility by producers, retailers, consumers, local authorities and the waste management industry. He added that more on new charging powers for local authorities announced in the Queens speech were due to be revealed today (November 15), with the publication of the Climate Change Bill. And Instone also flagged up that the Government had significantly more money to the tune of over £2 billion for the sector in the next few years, although further details of spending are due to be announced at a later date. Image: Lee Marshall, LARAC chair.