Rather optimistically, as it transpired, MRW reported that this month had been notable for offering a clearer picture of how Brexit will affect the UK’s waste sector. Or, as we put it, “not crystal-clear, just clearer”.
The reason was a growing sense from most observers that the European Commission’s CE package was likely to be with us before the UK leaves the EU, and any resulting laws being transposed into UK legislation as part of what was then called the Great Repeal Act.
Ministers were consistently saying they would “work with Europe” until the big split. MRW exclusively reported that Defra was advertising for policy team leaders for its EU exit programme, set up to co-ordinate the work. Starting salary £45,690.
The first details emerged of an initiative by China to tackle illegal imports. National Sword, Chinese officials insisted, was not a copy of the Green Fence exercise from 2013 but would target a variety of illicit activities including ‘foreign waste’: the smuggling of industrial and household waste, WEEE and plastics.
The ferrous market had been on a rollercoaster, with prices climbing and then falling by around £40.
An intriguing affirmation of the continuing need for landfill sites came with the news that, in January, Cory had quietly sold off its UK landfill and gas arm, comprising 13 sites, to reinsurance firm Armour Group Holdings for an undisclosed sum. Cory chief executive Nicholas Pollard told MRW there were a number of bidders and he found the breadth of interest in landfill “exciting”.
The waste sector welcomed the return of former WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin, who became part-time chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board.