Rory Stewart has switched from Defra to the department for international development (DFID) in the latest moves following Theresa May becoming Prime Minister and the subsequent ministerial reshuffles.
He is likely to be replaced by Thérèse Coffey, who joins the Defra ministerial team but without clarification of roles at this stage.
Stewart’s departure maintains what has become an almost traditional one-year post for a waste minister, to the frustration of the sector.
Engaging ministers over policy developments is more difficult because of the need for them to become acquainted with industry issues at the start of their tenure.
After Stewart was appointed in May 2015, his first major public engagement was to deliver the keynote speech at the annual Chartered Institution of Wastes Management conference in London when he charmed the audience by saying he wanted to listen, adding: “I want to make the UK the best country in the world for recycling”.
But much of that goodwill evaporated when he returned to the 2016 event and repeated the ‘listening’ message - although he did concede: “I’m a more world-weary, ground down minister than the one who bounded on stage then.”
His department has nevertheless been praised for continuing a commitment to fight waste crime.
One policy area that Stewart had been developing was a harmonisation drive for household collections with new guidance due to be published later this week. WRAP had been commissioned to consider how greater consistency could be achieved.
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Coffey, pictured, became MP for Suffolk Coastal in 2010 and was previously deputy leader of the House of Commons. Previous government experience includes being a parliamentary private secretary to Michael Fallon when his brief included business and energy.
Her ministerial web page says she enjoys watching football, gardening and music, especially Muse. She is a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
Existing Defra ministers George Eustice and Lord Gardiner of Kimble have not been moved.