Home / Facilities Management / Waste sector welcomes Defra announcement on Simpler Recycling reforms but concerns remain

Waste sector welcomes Defra announcement on Simpler Recycling reforms but concerns remain

There’s been a cautious welcome by the waste industry to the Government’s announcement of reforms to household and business bin collections and a crackdown on unscrupulous waste carriers. The reforms include a new, simpler approach to recycling allowing people across England to be able to recycle the same materials, whether at home, work or school. The government is also proposing new exemptions to make sure that waste collectors will be able to collect dry recyclables together, in the same bin or bag, and collect organic waste together, to reduce the number of bins required.

Lee Marshall, CIWM Policy & External Affairs Director, said: “We have been waiting for this announcement for what feels like an age, so it is great that we now have the details. The flexibility around collection systems appears to be a sensible way forward and I am sure local authorities will be pleased with that approach.

“The deadlines for implementation, especially for film, remain challenging given the delays we have had, and there will be concern about procurement bottlenecks that these relatively short deadlines may cause.

The proposal to restrict residual frequency to a maximum of fortnightly is, however, unwelcome, as there are numerous examples of how this helps increase recycling and makes collections more cost effective.”

The CIWM is surprised that the implementation date for business collections is ahead of the implementation date for households given that the payment details for these collections have yet to be agreed. There are also concerns about the timescales involved for all local authorities to undertake what are potentially significant service changes, and for the private sector to bid into the relevant contracts.

While welcoming the reforms, Gavin Graveson, Senior Executive Vice President Veolia Northern Europe Zone added:

“There is still an urgent need for waste reforms, policy visibility, and investment. We strongly suggest that the Government consider escalating the plastic packaging tax to a minimum 50 per cent recycled content to stimulate the market without creating a burden for the taxpayer and focus Extended Producer Responsibility on hard to recycle materials such as laminates and composite materials.

“We need stability in the recycling market to underpin investments so we can stimulate the green economy, create jobs and bring us closer to our net zero goals.”

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