Nearly 600 detailed submissions and over 3,000 standard letters were sent to the Government in response to its Waste Strategy consultation.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) environment quality and waste director Neil Thornton revealed the figures in the opening session of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) conference in Torbay today.
According to Thornton concerns such as how the Government was to deliver its strategies and whether it would have the right balance of options in line with the waste hierarchy had been raised. He said respondents had been hesitant about some aspects of the strategy, and very strongly supportive of others.
Participants also indicated they wanted to see more on prevention, education, and emphasis on recovering resources, with a strong belief that landfill should be the last response. A summary of the responses will be available on the Defra website in the next few months.
The comments came as new CIWM president Keith Simmonite warned the industry had “no time left to waste” and needed a clear action plan. “We need big changes in our behaviour. And we need to get our voice heard,” he said. He likened the change in public attitude needed to become a nation of automatic source segregators to the use of car seat belts - a measure that took time, resources and legislation.