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Local authorities positive on recycling targets

Despite fewer local authorities believing that finances in place for recycling are adequate, the majority still expect to meet 2005/06 targets.

The State of the Nation report 2006, compiled by MRW, found that over 70% of local authorities questioned felt they would meet the latest requirements. They also stated a need for statutory recycling targets beyond 2005/06.

However, only 55% compared to 62% in last year’s report, believed that finances already in place are entirely or fairly adequate, with 53% compared to 36% in 2005 citing capital funding as the biggest barrier to improved recycling.

The average amount of money which respondents need annually to meet recycling targets in the next two to three years has also increased by 3.4%, from £917,000 in 2004 to £958,000 in the current survey.

MRW group editor Jane Rayner said: “This latest report shows that local authorities are more positive at meeting targets but there is still much work to be done. Many cite the need for more money to help develop the infrastructure, and revenue and capital funding are regarded as the biggest barriers to improve recycling.”

The Grosvenor-sponsored report also found that 91% of respondents felt that the Landfill Directive will have the biggest impact on recycling in the next year, followed by the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment Directive (49%), which has since been delayed.

Overall, the impression given is that local authorities are somewhat more bullish than last year about meeting targets, but there is still a significantly high percentage that are unsure about the effectiveness of some programmes such as the Waste Implementation Programme and the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

Rayner added: “While respondents believe that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is listening to local authorities, the uncertainty of delayed legislation is not helping with forward planning. Improving communication and adhering to deadlines is essential for the future.”

A more detailed look at the report is on page 14 of the features section.

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