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Trade group lobbies for resource management department at Whitehall

Calls for the government to create a minister-led Office for Resource Management after next year’s general election are among proposals included in a letter to political parties from industry bodies covering the waste sector.

The Trade Association Group (TAG) says such an office would lead and co-ordinate government policy on resource efficiency and waste prevention across departments.

It echoes the call from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in October for the appointment of a minister to co-operate waste policy across all Government departments.

The TAG signatories also asked for a future government to expand the market for reused and recycled products and materials by reforming procurement rules, putting appropriate economic incentives in place, and placing a sustained emphasis on public communication and engagement.

They further suggested the government set long-term policy goals and targets, similar to those proposed by the European Union, to stimulate private investment in new waste treatment, recycling and reprocessing facilities.

Finally, the letter called for the government to protect local communities, safeguard the environment, and reduce tax evasion by ensuring enforcement bodies and local authorities were properly resourced to combat waste crime.

TAG highlighted the resource and waste management sector’s value to the economy, estimated by UK Trade & Investment to be over £12bn a year and employing over 150,000 people.

“The industry is expected to continue to expand, with the Treasury forecasting growth of over 3% for waste management and 4% in recovery and recycling,” the letter said.

“For the resource management industry to maximise the economic, social, and environmental benefits it can deliver for Britain, it needs to work in partnership with central and local government, and with regulators.

“A supportive policy framework is essential if the industry is to invest in the new facilities needed to improve the efficient use of resources in the UK economy.”

  • The organisations making up TAG are the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the Environmental Services Association, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Renewable Energy Association, and the Resource Association. The 2015 general election will be held on 7 May.

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