The UK should standardise the way local authorities collect waste, limiting the number of collection models available believes Veolia Environmental Services deputy chief executive director Paul Levett.
At a meeting of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group, Levett spoke about the need for a more holistic approach to waste collections. He said: “There is no one-size-fits-all system as all communities are different. But today we have more than 100 different paradigms of local authority collection systems. We probably need a greater standardisation across the systems, so we have about half a dozen systems for the local authorities to pick from.”
He told MRW: “Lack of standardisation makes benchmarking difficult and prohibits a standard communication and training campaign for residents because of the variety in the approaches to collections.
Also speaking at the event was Lichfield District Council chief executive Nina Dawes. She responded: “Why is there a plethora of collection systems? Well, if you haven’t got a plastics processing plant nearby, then a local authority cannot really collect plastics [but other local authorities will be able to collect plastics.”
His comments come at a time when the debate over the best way to collect waste (commingled or source-segregated) has been reignited following the Campaign for Real Recycling’s action to seek a judicial review of Defra’s decision to include commingled in the Waste Framework Directive.
Levett also said he believes local authorities may decide to jointly procure contracts in future in order to reduce their costs. He added: “Cost pressures will mean that more local authorities will re-enlist outsourcing.”