Waste Watch – August 2013

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published inAugust 2013.

31/08/2013

Nadeem Arshad

Nadeem Arshad

Partner

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in August 2013.

Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet. All links are correct at the date of publication.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.

The following topics are covered in this update:

   End of Life Vehicles    Waste Collection
   Infrastructure    Waste EEE
   Landfill    Waste Management
   Litter and Street Cleaning    Waste Policy
   Regulation  

End of Life Vehicles

Environment Agency: When a motor vehicle is considered to be waste: this position statements sets out the Agency's view on when an abandoned, accident damaged or stolen motor vehicle is classed as waste. It aims to help seizing authorities, vehicle recovery operators, insurers and operators of Authorised Treatment Facilities understand when a vehicle is an End of Life Vehicle (ELV) and the controls that apply to the storage, movement and treatment of vehicles in various situations. (1 August 2013)

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Infrastructure

ADEPT: Open letter – Industry and councils warn Government not to sleepwalk into waste infrastructure shortfall: this joint letter from the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Environmental Services Association (ESA), Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG), calls on the Government to confirm its commitment  to the existing waste infrastructure programme, and to review the situation urgently to provide assurance that the UK will be properly equipped to meet its European Landfill Directive targets in seven years' time. It raises concerns that the data used by the Government to make recent crucial investment decisions has now been shown to be out of date and this poses a genuine risk to the UK’s ability to meet its 2020 European Landfill Directive targets, which would leave the country unable to avoid very significant EU fines in the future. (7 August 2013)

R (Marton-cum-Grafton Parish Council) v North Yorkshire CC; AmeyCespa Ltd, City of York Council and Baron Mowbray Segrave & Stourton (Interested Parties) [2013] EWHC 2406 (Admin) (Admin Ct): the Parish Council applied to quash NYCC's decision to grant planning permission to AmeyCespa (AC) for the development of a Waste Recovery Park. NYCC had awarded a waste treatment contract to AC in 2010 following a complex procurement process. In 2008 DEFRA had confirmed that it expected to support the project with £65m PFI credits; in 2010 DEFRA advised that it had reviewed the amount of PFI grant to be put into waste treatment but AC's project was one of 11 projects that retained its provisional allocation of PFI credits.  In December 2012 HM Treasury published its report "A new approach to public private partnerships". NYCC granted planning permission on 14 February 2013; on 21 February 2013 DEFRA wrote to NYCC advising that following an assessment of the amount of residual waste treatment which was required nationally to meet EU Landfill Directive targets, Ministers had decided to withdraw the £65m PFI credit together with similar credits to two other projects in Merseyside and Bradford. The Parish Council contended that NYCC's decision was unlawful for a number of reasons. One submission was that HM Treasury's December 2012 report was a factual matter that did or ought to have come to the attention of planning officers between the Committee's resolution to grant permission and the Decision Notice on 14 February 2013 and so was a material consideration which required the planning officer to refer the matter back to the Committee. It contended that the report should have rung alarm bells that the £65m PFI funding was at risk, and that this was relevant to the issue of the viability or delivery of the project.
The court held, refusing the application, that the report was concerned with future PFI arrangements rather than previously approved projects and there was nothing in the document which would lead any competent planning officer to be concerned that the PFI funding for this project might be affected. The judge found as a fact that the HM Treasury report and its contents were not a material consideration in that they would not have tipped the balance in the decision maker's scales to any extent on the information which was available to both the officers and committee members at that time. Given this finding, the court did not need to address the issue of whether the loss of the PFI funding was relevant to the grant of planning permission. The court also dismissed the Parish Council's other grounds of appeal. (9 August 2013)

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Landfill

Welsh Government: Welsh local authorities continue to shine on landfill reduction: notes that  Natural Resources Wales' latest Landfill Allowances Scheme report for 2012/13 shows that all local authorities in Wales were within their landfill allowance in 2012/13 and collectively sent 364,784 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) to landfill out of a 470,000 tonnes limit. This means that Welsh Councils collectively met their reduction target with 22% to spare and are making good progress towards the challenging 2020 targets. Welsh authorities have reduced the amount of BMW sent to landfill by 57% since the first full year of the scheme in 2005/06. (30 August 2013)

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Litter and Street Cleaning

DEFRA: Local environmental quality – Valuing the neighbourhood in which we live: presents the findings of research on the importance and value of different local environmental factors, to help local authorities assess the scale of environmental impacts of any proposed policy, programme or project so that these impacts are understood and fully reflected in decision making. The guidance discusses different ways in which a value can be applied to 11 local environmental quality factors: urban quiet areas; fly-tipping; litter; detritus; fly-posting; graffiti; dog-fouling; chewing gum; trees; light pollution; and odour. (6 August 2013)

Welsh Government: Nearly £1 million to help keep communities tidy: announces funding for 75 projects as part of the Tidy Towns initiative to help Welsh communities improve their local area and tackle problems such as fly tipping, vandalism, dog fouling and littering. (19 August 2013)

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Regulation

Home Office: Scrap Metal Dealer Act 2013 – Guidance on licence fee charges: the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 will provide effective and proportionate regulation of the scrap metal sector, with a more robust, local authority run, licensing regime. It also creates a fee-raising power, allowing local authorities to recover the costs of administering and enforcing the regime. This guidance provides information about the fee-raising function for local authorities, together with useful details for those applying for a dealer licence. (12 August 2013)
See also the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1966 (C.83)) which brings the majority of the provisions in the 2013 Act into force on 1 October 2013; most of the criminal offences in the 2013 Act come into force on 1 December 2013.

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Waste Collection

DCLG: Government action to take on town hall "bin blight": announces that the Government is consulting on the results of the recent review of Building Regulations and housing standards. The paper includes proposals that Part H6 of the Building Regulations and the supporting Statutory Guidance on the design of waste storage for new homes is strengthened so as to "design out" bin blight. The Government has also published new online planning guidance which makes it clear that local authorities should ensure that new dwellings are carefully designed so that there is enough storage space for the different types of bins used in the local authority area. It seeks views on whether, and how, Section H6 needs to be updated to tackle bin blight, e.g. by importing into H6 some of the current Code for Sustainable Homes standards on external waste storage. The consultation closes on 22 October 2013. (16 August 2013)

DCLG: Response to a Daily Mail report that weekly rubbish collections will need to be scrapped to meet EU regulations: the Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has responded to a Daily Mail report that weekly rubbish collections will need to be scrapped to meet European Union regulations and that the Government has dropped its support for weekly rubbish collections. The Minister denies these allegations and confirms that councils are not required to make householders separate rubbish into five separate bins. He points out that in the Campaign for Real Recycling case in March 2013, the High Court confirmed that councils can continue to provide commingled collections. (27 August 2013)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

DBIS: Implementation of the WEEE recast Directive 2012/19/EU and changes to the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) System – Summary of responses to consultation: summarises the responses received to the April 2013 WEEE consultation that sought views on how to amend the existing WEEE Regulations 2006 to ensure compliance with the recast Directive. The full Government response, together with final impact assessments and revised regulations, will bepublished in September. (23 August 2013)

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Waste Management

DEFRA: Sustainable Development Indicators:  this revised set of headline indicators highlight sustainable development priorities for users and government. SDIs are national statistics that are used as a means of assessing whether the nation as a whole is developing sustainably, and as a means for policymakers to identify more sustainable policy options. Section 29 covers Waste Disposal and Recycling. (31 July 2013)

DEFRA: DIY sector smashes waste targets: announces that there has been a large 83% reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and a 25% reduction in packaging by signatories to the Home Improvement Sector Commitment voluntary agreement, such as Argos, B&Q, Homebase and Wickes. The figures surpass the aims of the Commitment, which were to reduce waste to landfill by 50%, and reduce packaging by 15% while helping consumers recycle more. (27 August 2013)

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Waste Policy

DEFRA: Consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for England: seeks views on the first Waste Prevention Programme for England (WPP). The revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98 requires Member States to establish waste prevention programmes not later than 12 December 2013. The draft WPP aims to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste, by reducing the overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use. The paper sets out the proposed vision, priorities, metrics and roles of Government, business, local authorities and other organisations. The section on the role of local authorities highlights the importance of developing local partnerships, and encourages LAs to work in partnership with local organisations and businesses to provide services in a way which supports action to reduce waste and to increase awareness and introduce clear messages on waste prevention and reuse. It also states that LAs should consider how to facilitate local action on waste prevention and reuse and promote sustainable behaviours. The consultation closes on 23 September 2013. (6 August 2013)
DEFRA has also extended the consultation on the Waste Management Plan for England to 9 September 2013.

Policy Exchange: Wasting waste – Risks and benefits of exporting the UK's waste: report of a roundtable discussion held on 25 June 2013 that considered whether the increased volume of UK waste exports created risks for the waste industry and whether policy makers should intervene in the current market. (1 August 2013)

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