Government Review of UK Waste Policy
Date of Article
Jul 15 2010

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Waste Management Industry figures have generally noted their support for the recent Government announcement to review of UK Waste Management policy.

Environment Minister Caroline Spelman announced at Futuresource last month that the Government intends to look at the most effective ways of reducing waste, maximising the money to be made from waste and recycling, and how waste policies affect local communities and individual households.
The review will include:
•    the effect of waste policies on local communities and individual households, and how local authorities can best work with people to make the best decisions;
•    maximising the contribution of the waste and recycling industries to the UK economically and environmentally;
•    how we work towards the “zero waste economy”, and drastically reduce the amount of waste created and valuable resources sent to landfill, looking at the entire process from source to end of life; and
•    new approaches to dealing with commercial waste and promoting ‘responsibility deals’, reducing the amount of waste generated by production and retail.

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management chief executive Steve Lee agreed that working with other departments was important. He commented: “[Spelman] has rightly identified that this industry is changing and faces a new set of challenges, including future infrastructure needs, better communication with consumers and a wider focus that embraces commercial and industrial waste.

“We also welcome the intention by Defra to work more closely with key stakeholders and relevant Government departments, something the CIWM has been calling for, and the recognition of the role our sector will play in helping to create a ‘leaner, greener economy’.”

Spokesmen for key industry operators, including Shanks and Viridor also welcomed the review, in particular the need to embrace other Government departments and the opportunity to tackle painful delays in the planning system.

Terms of reference for the review are expected in the next few weeks and DEFRA are likely to be calling for evidence in the Autumn.

Carter Jonas’ specialist team of Waste Management Surveyors are monitoring developments and also welcome the review.  Paul Malam, Partner in the team said:

“The UK Waste Management business has developed dramatically over the last few years, and there is a real need to re-focus in order to allow increased investment in this vibrant business.  Current planning and policy delays are hindering development and a sound review that addresses this problem will be fundamental to the future of the UK Waste Management business.  This isn’t just about zero landfill targets,  joined up thinking is required on the full range of waste streams and opportunities, from recycling through food and packaging waste and waste to energy.”

For more information on the services Carter Jonas can offer in the Waste Management field, contact Paul Malam.