Leading figures in the waste and recycling sector have defended a policy review by local authorities in response to criticism from the resource minister Lord de Mauley.
The authorities’ offiicial body, the Local Government Association (LGA), published a review of the waste management sector ‘Wealth from Waste’ earlier this week and included a number of calls for Whitehall action, including:
- revenues from landfill tax should be reinvested in joint local authority and private sector waste projects to generate income for cash-strapped councils.
- improved quality via the MRF code of Practice
- levelling the playing field for domestic reprocessors with exporters
- boosting reuse
Lord de Mauley responded to this emphasis on Government policy by saying that local authorities should work more in partnerships to increase efficiency.
The Resource Association (RA) and Closed Loop Recycling have both backed the LGA’s position and the Joint Trade Associations (JTA) specifically welcomed the LGA’s recommendations over the Government’s WEEE consultation.
The imbalance in this system remains the greatest threat to a thriving domestic recycling industry
Andy Doran, chair of the RA, called for the Government to “seriously consider the recommendations outlined… and afford local authorities some of the flexibility they need to realise the potential that exists in every community”.
Closed Loop Recycling managing director Chris Dow said: “We welcome the recommendations regarding supporting the domestic market for recyclate. Being ambitious about targets gives confidence in our industry, maintains investor confidence and creates green jobs. Increasing quality via the MRF code of practice also gives us the high grade feedstock we need to maintain growth and high levels of recycling.”
“The LGA has correctly pointed out that we need a robust PRN/PERN review. The imbalance in this system remains the greatest threat to a thriving domestic recycling industry.”
The Joint Trade Associations (JTA) welcomed the LGA’s recommendations that local authorities should be able to manage their own WEEE streams and gain revenue for it.
Mark Dempsey, European waste policy advisor from Hewlett-Packard added: “The proposed changes to the UK’s WEEE regulations will generate £16m in additional revenues for local authorities.”
- MRW has reported that there is an ongoing debate over the proposed changes to WEEE regulations and whether or not they will generate revenue for councils.