The Scottish Government has announced plans to unite several major waste programmes into one single delivery body called Zero Waste Scotland for a new streamlined approach to delivery of the zero waste agenda.
The body will include the Waste & Resources Action Programme Scotland and will be led by director Iain Gulland. In addition, the new programme will integrate the expertise of six Government-funded bodies including: Waste Aware Scotland; Envirowise Scotland; Remade Scotland; Keep Scotland Beautiful; the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme; and the Community Recycling Network for Scotland.
In August 2009, the Scottish Government launched a zero waste plan consultation which ended in November 2009. The responses are currently being analysed and the plan is due to be published in May or early June.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said that the analysis to date showed that stakeholders have requested a simpler delivery landscape for customers and a single Scottish-focused programme. She said that by merging the programmes into one everybody will be signing from the same hymn sheet and not delivering different messages.
The Scottish Government states that the new programme will bring potential efficiency savings, as well as improved transparency and accountability to create the Zero Waste Scotland brand.
The transitional year to implement the programme will start from now until 2011. During that time decisions will be made on how the programme will be delivered from 2011 onwards. It is not clear whether these decisions will involve job cuts.
WRAP Scotland director Iain Gulland said: The opportunity to develop the Zero Waste Scotland programme is exciting. Bringing together the delivery of Zero Waste programmes in Scotland will enable us to deliver better and more efficient services to consumers, local authorities and businesses. It will give greater clarity to those seeking advice and support on zero waste, and it will mean services will be better integrated and able to benefit from economies of scale.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: We are establishing Zero Waste Scotland to simplify the delivery of the extremely important environmental message; the need to tackle our waste culture to help conserve our resources for future generations and cuts costs for households and businesses.
The work of Scotlands delivery bodies has been vital in achieving a nationwide enthusiasm for a more responsible attitude to our waste. I thank each and every person who has helped Scotland this far on the journey towards zero waste.
A Scottish identity, under Zero Waste Scotland, will allow us to tailor delivery to suit waste management and infrastructure. We will continue to work closely with current delivery partners during both the transition phase and in future endeavours.
Last year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that WRAP will merge business resource efficiency programmes under WRAPs leadership. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has recently criticised the Governments decision to do this and called on the Government to re-evaluate the impact of cuts in funding to programmes such as WRAP and NISP (see MRW story).