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Review of 2017 - May

Big numbers were in the news, led by the ESA’s latest report into waste crime. 

Eunomia did the legwork and came up with an annual cost to the economy of £600m. The report generated

significant coverage in the media, not least because of Eunomia’s smart move to register a dead dog, Oscar, as a waste carrier to illustrate how greater diligence was required to tackle shoddy operators.

There was something of a hiatus (publicly) while the Greater Manchester Waste Authority (GMWDA) and Viridor thrashed out a divorce deal after the authority terminated the com-pany’s comprehensive £3.8bn long-term joint-venture partnership for waste management across the region. It was an early headache for Manchester’s new ‘metro mayor’ Andy Burnham, although he was not due to take on responsibility for the GMWDA formally until 2018.

The implications of the Government’s litter strategy continued to be felt in town halls. West Sussex County Council had suspended charges for DIY waste taken by residents to local civic amenity sites, prompted by the clear signal in April that ministers wanted the practice outlawed. This month, Derbyshire County Council did not just suspend the charges – it scrapped them.

The General Election call by Theresa May had a profound effect on the work of the Commons’ select committees. They cease to exist as soon as Parliament is prorogued so there was a rush by some not to discard the fruits of their investigations.

The parties all published their manifestoes and MRW found thin gruel in terms of commitments for the waste and resource sector.

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