The surprises keep on coming. During 2018 so far, we have been bombarded with policies that had seemed highly unlikely in 2017.
All the indications pointed to environment secretary Michael Gove taking a stance against both accepting EU recycling targets and setting up a UK deposit return scheme - we now find the reverse is true.
The EU circular economy is being signed off as the lastest issue of MRW went to press, and the word from Defra is that any commitments to the package would be retained after Brexit and transferred into UK law. No doubt the legislation will then be tinkered with, but after years of doubt the sector at last has some sort of light to guide its investments by.
Gove also announced he will press ahead with DRS, with a consultation to be launched later in the year. Our coverage reveals a great deal of interest across the sector, and some trepidation. Watch this space.
As if by design, this month we focus on a growing trend for private waste management companies taking on local authorities by doing their own household collections, at the same time as Larac released a report calling for council recycling to be funded by other means that council tax.
Councils have been warning they are at financial breaking point for some years, and it seems waste management expenditure is now very much in the firing line.
I am stepping temporarily into the shoes of our former editor Robin Latchem. His is a hard act to follow, but MRW has a strong team and will continue to bring you original, in-depth analysis as the sector faces up to what could be a momentous year of change. We wish Robin well, and we are sure he will be successful in his new ventures.