The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called on Defra to develop a 25-year plan for resources and waste to match its delayed plan for the environment.
The call comes from ESA chair Stewart Davies (pictured) following the recent keynote speech by environment secretary Michael Gove on policy after the UK leaves the EU.
Davies said he was encouraged by a reference in the speech to “a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU”, and he wanted Defra to champion the waste and resource management sector.
He said: “The ESA sees an urgent need for a waste and resources strategy from the Government to address the looming treatment capacity gap. The industry thinks that, by 2030, we will end up around five million tonnes a year short of treatment infrastructure [because] 80% of landfill capacity is expected to close by then.
“A waste and resources strategy is also needed so that Defra can align other Government initiatives involving the sector that are already taking shape [Industrial Strategy, National Infrastructure Assessment, Clean Growth Plan].
“We looks forward to engaging with Defra, and would commit the necessary time and expertise to work with the department to develop a 25-year waste and resources plan in parallel with the environment plan already in preparation.”
The environment plan has been held up by previous ministers and the general election. Gove’s speech to the WWF was seen in some quarters as adding fresh impetus to the plan, and was welcomed by chief executive of Suez UK, David-Palmer-Jones.