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Review of 2015 – December

The Commission’s CE package was launched a year after the first draft was scrapped.

2015 12 05 mrw

2015 12 05 mrw

But even before its scheduled publication there was widespread disappointment after another document leaked to MRW revealed a 65% recycling target for municipal waste by 2030, lower than the original 70% proposal.

Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans defended the lower targets, which are to be implemented by July 2017.

The package brought a mixed reaction from industry. Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “Proposals on food waste and separate collection appear to be weaker than many of us had hoped for.”

Larac said the package’s inclusion of separate food waste collections, where ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ were unlikely to be taken up by many councils because of financial pressures.

Figures showed the amount of local authority-collected material being sent to EfW facilities increased by 25% in the past year to 7.8 million tonnes, surpassing the amount sent to landfill for the first time. Defra’s latest local authority waste management figures revealed that disposal to landfill had dropped 20% during the same period, to 6.4 million tonnes.

There was much excitement over news that Biffa was priming itself for a takeover.

Glasgow City Council said it would consider how to implement a series of recommendations, including requiring prospective drivers to release medical records, in response to an inquiry into last year’s fatal bin lorry crash.

Northern Ireland environment minister Mark Durkan made a case for setting up a fully independent environmental regulation body that would take on responsibility for waste management.

West Midlands recycler BCR Global Textiles was forced to cease trading because of the costly effects of a fire and market pressures, threatening around 90 jobs.

“We could have set a 100% target, even more ‘ambitious’, but what would that have meant in the real world?”

Frans Timmermans, European Commission first vice-president

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