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 the past month.

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:

   Environmental Information    Waste Minimisation
   Landfill    Waste Policy
   Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste PFI
   Procurement    WEEE
   Waste Management

Environmental Information

ICO: Charging for environmental information: this guidance explains how public authorities should comply with the charging regime laid out in reg.8 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), and, in particular, what constitutes a "reasonable amount". The guidance reflects the Commissioner’s position pending the court’s decision in East Sussex CC v Information Commissioner and Property Search Group, which has referred questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) relating to what a public authority may charge for supplying environmental information under the Environmental Information Directive 2003/4/EC. (25 June 2014)

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Landfill

Environment Agency: Continuous monitoring on landfill sites: this briefing note sets out the Agency's approach to landfill operators' use of continuous monitoring systems. The Agency considers that such systems, certified to MCERTS performance standards, properly installed, calibrated and maintained, provide much more information than spot samples or periodic measurements. (23 June 2014)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

Welsh Government: A fly-tipping free Wales – Our strategy for tackling fly-tipping: seeks views on a draft strategy that sets out what the Welsh Government and its partners will do to reduce fly-tipping across Wales. It follows on from the ovember 2012 position statement on a Fly-tipping Free Wales that set out its vision and the required outcomes to achieve to effectively tackle fly-tipping in Wales. The consultation closes on 29 August 2014. (3 June 2014) 

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Procurement

Bevan Brittan byte size procurement updates: we have published a further four articles in our "byte size" legal updates, in which we look at the new Public Sector Directive and deconstruct it into a topic based approach. For each topic we provide a brief explanation of the most relevant new and updated provisions in the new Directive. We also highlight some of the practical implications of those provisions. They cover:

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

WRAP: The value of re-using household waste electrical and electronic equipment: WRAP has published two reports on WEEE being disposed of via Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and local authority bulky waste collections:

 (16 June 2014)

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Waste Management

Welsh Government: Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet: Agricultural waste call for evidence: this statement and call for evidence sets out the current situation for the wastes produced and managed by the agriculture sector in Wales. It also covers the opportunities for the use of farm manure to generate renewable energy and the problems of wastes fly-tipped on agricultural land. It identifies the evidence and the support that is currently in place. It asks if there is any further evidence available and whether there is a need for further action by the Welsh Government to develop a position statement or a sector specific action plan. The closing date for comments is 4 September 2014. (12 June 2014)

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Waste Minimisation

DEFRA: Single-use plastic bag charge for England – Summary of responses to Call for Evidence: in November 2013, DEFRA issued a Call for Evidence on the key issues as to how a charge for single-use plastic bags would work in England. This paper summarises the responses received. Some respondents expressed frustration that this Call did not allow comment on the wider structure of the charge so, in recognition of that frustration, Annex B sets out the rationale for some of the agreed characteristics of the plastic bag charge for England. DEFRA will analyse the responses during 2014, and they will inform the drafting of the regulations for the plastic bag charge in England. These regulations will be drafted in 2014, and will come into force in October 2015. (19 June 2014)

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Waste Policy

DEFRA: Government Response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Report ‘Waste or Resource? Stimulating a bioeconomy’: the Committee's March 2014 report argued that a clear, long-term strategy and stable policy environment was needed to encourage and stimulate the waste-based bio-economy, and called on the Government to create a Waste Champion. This paper sets out the Govenrment's response: it has embraced these central recommendations and states that it will develop a long term plan for delivering and supporting a growing bio-economy by early 2015. The Minister of State for Business and Energy in DBIS will take on the role of Ministerial champion for the bioeconomy. The Government adds that a cross Government Steering Group will be established with industry and key stakeholders to coordinate the development and stimulation of a bio-economy. (18 June 2014)

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Waste PFI

NAO: Oversight of three PFI waste projects: this report scrutinises three local authority PFI waste contracts entered into by DEFRA with Surrey CC, Norfolk CC and, jointly, Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire CC. All three projects have experienced significant delays stemming from a range of problems, including difficulties obtaining planning permission, complex commercial considerations, opposition from local groups and uncertainty over technology. The NAO finds that there was a lack of clarity over both the facts and figures relating to these three projects, and the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. It states that DEFRA has given good support and guidance to the local authorities involved, but that the nature of DEFRA's funding agreements with Surrey and Herefordshire and Worcestershire made it difficult for it to withdraw or amend its financial support to these contracts, even when significant infrastructure had not been delivered as planned. The NAO has not formed any conclusions on the value for money of the three contracts as it considers that these matters are for local authorities’ auditors to examine; nor has it examined the value for money of the overall Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme managed by DEFRA. The report sets out the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the three contracts and examines those issues over which DEFRA has direct influence or involvement. (17 June 2014)

HC Treasury Committee: Private Finance 2: this report examines key elements of the measures to reform PFI and improve the way in which private finance was used to deliver public infrastructure, known as PF2. It focuses on whether these elements are likely to address the principal concerns the Committee has previously raised with regard to PFI. (19 June 2014)

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