We would urge government to stop talking and start acting on matters affecting the waste industry. It is our belief that the current government risks putting the industry 10 years behind the rest of Europe and ignoring the positive impact resource efficiency could have on the UK economy and we would welcome a different approach by the newly elected party.
A new government should look to invest in cleaning up our industry if it still wants us to meet its ambitious targets moving forward. Government must pledge to stop the enforcement of budget cuts that stifle any progress we could otherwise make. Remondis UK has recently invested in a state-of-the-art site in Prescot, Merseyside but others won’t have an incentive to invest in the future if we do not start to drive improvements sector-wide first. Standards across the waste industry need to be consistent and enforced so that we can begin to look at commercialising and therefore maximising the potential our waste streams offer.
Our ideal situation would be to see a manifesto that outlines a clear and realistic programme of education in the waste sector. At the moment those that legislate come down harshly on those not performing. This is not fair if those in the wrong are not educated about the options that they have in practice and are not equipped with the knowledge to change the way that they work.
The current situation dictates that the industry has ambivalence towards government and the effect its latest legislation will have on the industry. This should not be the case. The best solution would be for a new government to enforce standards. In order to do this it must work closely with the industry to understand its challenges and underlying needs and work collaboratively to reiterate to those involved, the options available for commercialising waste. Until this is the case and we educate rather than legislate then punish, government targets for us will be a pipe dream.
Marcus Bauer is managing director of Remondis UK