Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Government compost U-turn

The Government has performed a sensational u-turn on charging communities that produce their own compost after it received complaints that the charge would damage green waste recycling levels.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was meant to be announcing that as of July 1, anyone composting more than five tonnes at any one time would have to pay over £200 for an exemption, which had up until then been free.

However, while all other changes to the waste management license exemption rules will go ahead, those proposed for composting will be postponed.

Local Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "Increasing the amount of organic waste composted is one of our key objectives; as such we want to encourage the growth of the community composting sector."

Collective composting schemes take garden and vegetable waste from households to a communal heap to be sold back to locals by the bag.

It had been argued that as many were small operations, they would be effectively shutdown.

In May, the Community Composting Network (CCN) stated that this year's Compost Awareness Week would be its last as the proposed charges would make composting uneconomically viable for groups composting from five to 50 tonnes.

The CCN even urged its members not to pay the fees in protest.

CCN chairman Nicky Scott said: "This decision is welcome, but we will have to wait to find out what the Government is going to do now.

"This move puts community composting back in limbo."

Despite community composting's reprieve, Bradshaw added: "Nevertheless, composting does pose a risk to the environment and human health.

"We have therefore decided to reconsider this exemption for composting to ensure that the revised controls reduce this risk, whilst fulfilling our aim of encouraging composting."

The current composting exemption to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 will continue to apply and Bradshaw has agreed to meet the CCN to discuss a constructive way forward for green waste recycling in England.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.