Leading representatives of the waste and resource management industry have called on Defra to work with them to boost the sector, claiming progress in England has “stalled in a number of areas”.
The call comes in a joint letter to the new resource minister Dan Rogerson, left, from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the Environmental Services Association, the Renewable Energy Association, the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association, and the Resource Association.
It said: “As organisations representing responsible operators and professionals in the sector we are concerned that progress in improving resource management in England had already stalled in a number of areas even before the minister’s recent announcement.”
This is a reference to Rogerson’s statement on 6 November spelling out how Defra would be reining back its policy work on waste matters in 2014 due to budget cuts. He called on the industry itself to take more of a role.
The joint letter goes on: “Rather than simply criticise the Government, and recognising the resource constraints in his department, we would like to offer to work closely with Defra to help turn this situation around”.
Defra recently announced that the household waste recycling rate in England increased by just 0.2% in the past year, the lowest annual increase this century. If maintained, it would fall short of the 50% figure set by the EU for the end of the decade.
The letter said this was one of a number of key areas that needed to be tackled. It also highlighted research carried out by CIWM revealing an infrastructure gap in commercial and industrial waste.
Other key areas outlined in the letter include waste crime, separated collection requirements, hazardous waste and waste prevention.