This Alert contains brief details of recent Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in municipal 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:

   Animal By-products    Recycling 
   Contaminated Land    Waste Minimisation
   European Law    Waste Policy


Animal By-products

DEFRA: New Animal By-products (Enforcement) Regulations 2011: seeks views on proposed new regulations that will revoke and replace SI 2005/2347 and provide powers to enforce the requirements of the new EU Animal By Products Regulation 1069/2009, which lays down health rules for the disposal of animal by-products not intended for human consumption. Comments are required by 10 September 2010.

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Contaminated Land

Environment Agency: Guiding principles for land contamination – GPLC2: FAQs, technical information, detailed advice and references: provides answers to a series of questions and includes numerous references to other published guidance. The answers are fairly technical but the topics they cover are issues for many land contamination projects. (8 July 2010)

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European Law

LGA: Knowing me, knowing EU – the impact of EU laws on local councils: takes a retrospective look at how three European laws on energy efficiency, public procurement and landfill affect services in six councils. It then uses these to recommend improvements to the way future EU decisions are made. (6 July 2010)

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LGA: Less than eight years of landfill space left, warn council leaders: the LGA has released details of research which shows that households in the UK send more than 18.8m tonnes of rubbish to landfill every year – 2m more tonnes than any other country in the European Union. It states that the findings show that Britain will run out of landfill space in less than eight years' time unless recycling rates are boosted and the amount of rubbish dumped in the ground is reduced. (8 July 2010)

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WRAP: WRAP boosts recycling of yoghurt pots and food trays with launch of new mixed plastics loan fund: announces the launch of  a new Mixed Plastics Loan Fund worth £2m to boost reprocessing in the UK of plastics like yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and rigid plastic food trays. Applications to the Fund must be made by 31 December 2010. For selection criteria and full details of how to apply for the loan, see the Mixed Plastics Loan Fund web page. (20 July 2010)

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Waste Minimisation

National Assembly: AMs say yes to proposed new green law that aims to help turn Wales into zero-waste country by 2050: the National Assembly’s Legislation Committee have supported in principle the Waste (Wales) Measure that aims to reduce the amount of waste and litter in Wales by establishing statutory targets for the percentage of waste to be recycled by each local council. The proposed Measure will also allow Welsh Ministers to require Welsh retailers to pass on the proceeds of a charge on plastic bags to worthwhile projects, and will give the Welsh Ministers power to ban or restrict the deposit of specified kinds of waste in a landfill in Wales. Its recommendations include that the Minister considers setting separate targets for waste minimisation, in order to balance any distorting effect of the statutory recycling targets on the waste hierarchy, and that the Measure be amended to allow two or more local authorities to work collaboratively in meeting the new statutory waste targets by pooling their individual targets. See also the Legislative Committee's report. (28 June 2010)

DEFRA: Localism Bill to be used to end trial ‘pay-as-you-throw’ schemes: announces that the Government intends to include provisions in the Localism Bill, to be introduced into Parliament this Autumn, amending the Climate Change Act 2008 to remove the powers that allow local authorities to pilot waste reduction schemes, including charging householders based on how much they throw away.  The changes will also make it easier for local authorities to bring in schemes to reward people who produce less waste. The Government considers that decisions on any reward schemes are best made by councils in consultation with local residents and with careful consideration of value for money. The Environment Secretary has also announced that DEFRA will not be further considering Bristol City Council’s current proposal to pilot a waste reduction scheme under the Climate Change Act. (16 July 2010)

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Waste Policy

DEFRA: Transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC): seeks views on transposing the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) in England and Wales. It includes proposals on: 

  • a legal obligation for those producing waste (other than householders) to deal with their waste in the best way possible for the environment wherever practical, following the waste hierarchy by prioritising actions to prevent waste in the first place; then preparing any waste for re-use; recycling it; using other types of recovery such as energy from waste; and if all else fails disposing of it; 
  • a statutory target to recycle 50% of waste from households by 2020; 
  • a statutory target to recover 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020; and 
  • setting up where practical separate collections for: waste paper; metal; plastic; and glass by 2015.
  • The revised WFD also requires Member States to encourage the separate collection of bio-waste. DEFRA is not proposing any additional measures on this in the draft regulations. Guidance is already available to local authorities and the proposals in the consultation do not change existing bio-waste policy. The Directive also includes a definition of the term ‘recycling’ for the purpose of setting and meeting targets.  DEFRA and the Devolved Administrations are reviewing which reprocessing techniques should be termed ‘recycling’, in order to ensure a UK-wide approach. 
    The consultation closes on 16 September 2010. The consultation web page includes a summary of key issues, draft regulations for England and Wales, and draft guidance for England on the application of the waste hierarchy. (8 July 2010)
DEFRA: Review of waste policy: seeks views to inform the Review of all aspects of waste policy and delivery in England. The Review's main aim is to ensure that the Government is taking the right steps towards creating a ‘zero waste’ economy, where resources are fully valued, and nothing of value gets thrown away. Comments are required by 9 September 2010. The formal Call for Evidence will close on 7 October 2010, and the early results of the Review will be made available in Spring 2011. For the full Terms of Reference, see the Call for Evidence. (29 July 2010)

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