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ESA slams incineration tax proposal

Prime minister Theresa May’s indication that an incinceration tax will be imposed in the event of the UK not meeting its recycling targets has been criticised by the Environmental Services Association (ESA).

While May concluded that incineration has an important part to play in dealing with residual waste, the ESA argued that she went too far in proposing an energy-from-waste (EfW) tax because it “would do nothing to help recycling”.

An ESA spokesperson said: “It is the lack of end markets for recycled material that prevents recycling rather than EfW, and a tax would only hike up waste management costs for local authorities.”

But the ESA welcomed resource minister Therese Coffey’s indication that the Environment Bill could lead to greater scrutiny of industry plant owners.

The ESA also reacted to Coffey’s statement on getting rid of the TEEP (technically, environmentally and economically practicable) exemption on what local authorities are required to collect.

The ESA spokesperson added: “We welcome scrutiny of operators because we need to squeeze cowboys out of the sector and raise professionalism and compliance.

“We’re pleased that the minister confirmed that proposals will focus on what we collect, not how we collect it.

”Councils need flexibility. Given that Defra has committed to funding additional costs to councils, the economic aspect of TEEP should no longer be an issue anyway.”

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