The Government plans to increase flexibility of payments from waste disposal to waste collection authorities in two-tier areas, and update and make statutory the Governments guidance on payments to third parties.
It is also asking for feedback on proposals to modify the way the financial value of recycling credits is calculated and widen the scope of the scheme to include all reuse and minimisation credits.
Chairman of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee Andy Doran said the proposals were a step in the right direction, especially as withdrawing the credits would make it almost impossible for many waste-collecting district and borough councils to operate recycling programmes.
However, he warned that rules for payments to third parties should remain at the discretion of local authorities.
Doran said: Payments to third parties should be for organisations such as small charities, so big companies should not be judged under the same rules. The credits should not be used to line the pockets of multinationals, which is why local authorities should retain local discretion on third-party payments.
The recycling credits scheme was introduced to provide incentives for the recycling and composting of household waste by waste collection authorities and third parties. The idea was to make available to recyclers the savings in disposal and collection costs that result from recycling household waste. This was only if the body responsible for collecting the household waste for recycling was not responsible for disposing of that waste.
However, the scheme is now having to work in conjunction or sometimes in conflict with the statutory targets of the Landfill Directive, the Landfill Tax and the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme from 2006.
Letters have been sent to local authorities in England, Joint Waste Disposal Authorities and other relevant organisations inviting them to respond to the consultation by October 22.