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Review of 2015 – September

The RDF Industry Group disputed claims that the growth in the RDF export market was driving up waste crime and leading to more abandoned sites in the UK.

2015 09 12 mrw

2015 09 12 mrw

The group, which represents a number of key UK exporters and importers on the continent, said the existing legal framework did not provide for any practicable restrictive standard for exported RDF, and any standard that was applied would need to apply equally to residual waste treated domestically.

The Local Government Association called for more funding to help councils hit the UK’s household recycling target for 2020. Such recycling reached a record high of 44.8% in 2014, well short of the 2020 target of 50%.

Karl Falkenberg, who until September was director-general for environment at the commission, told the RWM conference he doubted that the UK’s emphasis on commingled collections could deliver the required quality standards for recycling. He said a goal of no waste to landfill by 2020 was achievable and countries such as Sweden and Germany were leading the way.

Resources minister Rory Stewart told MRW he wanted just “five or six” types of council household collections systems in order to boost England’s flatlining recycling rate. But he ruled out forcing councils to change.

The ESA criticised support for weekly refuse collections, and said ministers should focus on recycling, investment in facilities and waste crime.

Concerns about the shrinking market for secondary materials grew as steel producer SSI UK said operations at its Redcar plant would be “paused” due to “ongoing issues with the supply of raw materials and services”.

A Government-backed report said major infrastructure projects were threatened by the UK’s skills shortage, with a quarter of a million existing workers needing retraining and a gap of 100,000 workers during the next five years.

Scotland’s household waste sent to landfill fell below 50% for the first time, according to figures published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

“The failure of a significant part of the industry to move into compliance runs the risk of seriously undermining the value of the regulations, even at this early stage. Urgent action is needed by the regulators to address this”

Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association, on MRF sampling registration

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