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Waste Review is published

The long-awaited Waste Review was published this morning (14 June) setting out plans to consult on banning materials from landfill, dispose of the landfill allowance trading scheme (LATS) and work with councils to increase rubbish collection frequency.

In a written ministerial statement Defra secretary of state Caroline Spelman said: “The Waste Review includes a range of commitments designed to move waste more quickly up the waste hierarchy, away from disposal in landfill, with waste prevention a priority, followed by re-use, recycling and recovery. 

“The Review concludes that preventing waste wherever possible can deliver the best environmental and economic outcomes.  The Government will work with business sectors and the waste and material resources industry to develop voluntary approaches to cutting waste and increase recycling.   We will also consult on banning wood waste from landfill and assess whether further bans may be appropriate in the future.”

A consultation of the banning of wood waste from landfill is to take place next year, while reviews of restrictions in dumping other materials will also take place. Textiles and biowaste will be particularly focused on.

With the aim of driving up the waste hierarchy, Defra will develop a comprehensive Waste Prevention Programme by the end of 2013, in the meantime working with businesses to develop more reuse and waste prevention. This includes creating responsibility deals across a range of sectors and encouraging the greater use of recycled content in packaging.

This will be helped through the end to LATS at the end of 2012/13, which Government saw as a barrier to local authorities providing businesses waste collections. According to a statement on the Defra website, analysis from the Review along with responses from a 2010 consultation on meeting landfill diversion targets “has shown that LATS is no longer the major driver for diverting waste”.  

Within packaging, Defra will also consult on increasing recycling targets from 2013 to 2017. This will include establishing a sub-target for recycling of glass into remelt applications. A final decision will be made in the Government’s 2012 Budget.

Local authorities will also be encouraged to sign up to a Recycling & Waste Services Commitment, which has been drawn up by the Local Government Association and representatives of local councils working with Defra and WRAP. It will aim to set out principles councils should follow in delivering local waste services.

For energy from waste (EfW) facilities, Defra has committed to publishing a guide to EfW “to help all involved to make best suited to their specific requirements”, while also aiming to “remove barriers” to EfW by making more information available to the public. While incentives for renewable energy which encompass EfW will be reassessed. The department has published the Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan alongside the review

Spelman also announced that Defra will:

·        Protect civil liberties by de-criminalising trivial household bin offences, while ensuring that stronger powers exist to tackle those responsible for flytipping and serious waste crime;

·        Support initiatives which reward and recognise people who do the right thing to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste; 

·        Support councils and the waste industry in improving the collection of waste from smaller businesses;

·        Reduce the burden of regulation and enforcement on legitimate business, but target those who persistently break the law.

·        Increase ‘on the go’ recycling


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