Local authority representatives have offered mixed receptions to the Government’s review of waste policy.
Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) chair Joy Blizzard told MRW that the review held a “very strange view” of local authorities and lacked ambition. She said: “It’s all very well talking about behavioural change, [but] it’s not going to be achieved by goodwill, wishes and hot air, there has to be something in place. There have to be targets for people to work to and sanctions if people don’t play ball.”
She added: “[The review mentions] developing a waste prevention programme, and exploring how householders could be rewarded for effectively preventing and reducing waste. Reducing food bills by £50 a month if proper investment is put into Love Food Hate Waste, that’s a reward that saves everybody money and it doesn’t patronise people.
“The strategy is trying to hurtle towards the future with its eyes firmly fixed on the rear view mirror.”
Speaking at the CIWM conference, Local Government Association (LGA) environment board vice-chairman Clyde Loakes said: “We are delighted the review notes the importance of local empowerment in waste collection and disposal, one of the key issues for councils is the ability to determine frequency or collection methods locally and we are pleased the Government endorses this aspect of localism.
“We welcome the removal of LATS and the duty to produce joint municipal waste management strategies, but more needs to be done and I urge Defra to implement changes to schedule 2 regulations as soon as possible.”
In a statement, LGA environment board chairman cllr Gary Porter added: “We will work with Defra to help councils continue to pioneer successful new approaches to further reduce the environmental impact of waste in locally appropriate ways and make it easier for residents to recycle.
“As a last resort councils also need effective, proportionate powers to take action against households or businesses which persistently or wilfully damage the local environment. We will work with Defra to ensure that adequate deterrents are available to tackle the small number of people who undermine the good work of the rest of us.”