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Welsh councils raise collection fears

Local authorities in Wales have again urged policy makers to clarify what recycling collection methods are legally acceptable.

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) called for an end to the impasse following the numerous attempts to transpose the revised EU Waste Framework Directive into Welsh and English waste regulations.    

The WLGA said the confusion over the future viability of commingled collection schemes could have far reaching consequences for both councils and communities.

It insisted councils should be free to set up collections suitable for their areas or they risked facing fines for not hitting their recycling targets.

A WLGA spokesman said: “It is hoped that a prescriptive approach to future funding can be avoided.

“With local councils facing financial penalties for any failure to meet recycling targets in Wales, they must be free to shape their support for national recycling targets by developing locally determined collection services that reflect the specific needs of the local council and the communities they serve.”

Defra’s efforts to resolve the dispute over collection methods by amending the waste regulations were given short thrift by campaigners who last month vowed to pursue their Judicial Review.

Andy Moore, of the Campaign for Real Recycling which began a legal challenge against ministers last year, said fresh guidance from Defra laid before Parliament was inadequate.

A statement by Moore on behalf of the claimants said: “On 13 July, the claimants seeking judicial review of the Waste Regulations (England & Wales) 2011 instructed their solicitors to write to the Government to inform them that, in the claimants’ view, the proposed amendment is still not an adequate transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive.

“At this stage the claimants expect there is a need for the issue to be formally resolved through the court process.”

It also said the claimants remained “keen to engage with Defra and the Welsh Government in discussion as to how to interpret the revised Waste Framework Directive”.

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