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Waste Review should look to horizons of 2050

The forthcoming review of waste policy could set direction as far ahead as 2050, a Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) official told visitors attending the Recycling and Waste Management exhibition (RWM).

Speaking at a seminar session on the first day of RWM, Defra deputy director of waste strategy Diana Linskey said: “The EU sets us landfill targets for 2020, the question we need to work through in the waste review, is do ministers have greater ambition than that? Where do we want to go towards zero landfill? Can we set a direction for 2030, possibly 2050 so that people understand where this Government wants to be?”

She added that a possible criticism of the 2007 Waste Strategy of the previous administration is that “it didn’t set a long enough time horizon for the goals it had set”.

Linskey explained that  there would also be consideration of “future waste scenarios” to better understand how to deliver less waste to landfill, the place of energy from waste and recycling targets and the incentivisation of the waste hierarchy.

“We really do need to start changing the language around waste, so we see it much more as a resource, to bring income to local authorities and income into local businesses, rather than just thinking of it as waste to be got rid of,” she said.

“Ministers are very clear we need to not only tackle household waste, and local authority service and service delivery, but business waste to look more at how we can cut across the waste streams and deal with them as waste streams from a policy point of view.”

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