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MRF code consultation ‘in summer’    

Defra will consult on a code of practice for materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in the summer, if ministers agree to make the code mandatory, Lord Taylor has said.

The environment minister told a Local Government Association conference officials were working closely with the Environmental Services Association to finalise a draft of the code.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Taylor, right, said: “We are considering whether to make the code of practice mandatory. If we take the decision to make the code mandatory, then a consultation will take place in summer of 2012.”

As reported by MRW, waste industry chiefs are set to meet Defra officials in the next fortnight to re-assert pressure on ministers to force all material MRF operators to sign up to a code of pactice.

A ministerial decision on whether to make the code mandatory or voluntary was expected last autumn but Defra delayed its decision, citing the need for further consultation.

Environmental Services Association (ESA) policy adviser on materials recovery David Sher said: “We are hopeful that Defra will make a decision on this shortly. We are very keen to move forward on this and I am sure Defra is too.”

The code represents “smart industry self-regulation” and ESA members see it as “the right thing to do”, Sher added.

The ESA has previously warned that unless the code is mandatory, there will be a disincentive to sign up to it as the cost of doing so could make MRFs uncompetitive against non-compliant MRFs.

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