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.
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.