Waste Watch

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.

31/05/2010

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:

   Environmental Policy    Permitting and Licensing
   Municipal Waste

Environmental Policy

Aldersgate Group: Accelerating the transition – priorities for the first 100 days of the new Government: this report from the environmental high-level coalition of business, MPs and NGOs sets out a list of key priorities for the new administration’s first 100 days. It argues that although the three leading parties have taken up the policies of a Green Investment Bank and measures to improve resource efficiency, none of the manifestos reflect the true depth and rapidity of change that the UK economy must undergo. The group warns against reliance on carbon pricing alone, and says a wider framework of regulation and incentives is urgently needed to boost innovation and ensure the UK becomes a world leader in resource efficient products and services.  It argues for an immediate national energy-efficiency action plan and commitment to mandatory carbon reporting, including all product life-cycle emissions, to boost transparency and competition, along with simplification of the climate policy framework, with more consistent carbon reporting standards. (29 April 2010)

HM Government: The Coalition - our programme for government: this web page gives details of the Government's key policy plans, covering areas such as political reform, public health, schools and education, home information packs, tackling the deficit and reform of the banking system. On local government, it states that the Government will "promote decentralisation and democratic engagement, and we will end the era of top-down government by giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals".  On the environment, it says "We will work towards a ‘zero waste’ economy, encourage councils to pay people to recycle, and work to reduce littering."
The LGA has produced a detailed briefing summarising the proposals, with commentary. 
(20 May 2010)

DEFRA: Defra contributes to Government savings: sets out how DEFRA and its arm’s length bodies will contribute £162m to the Government’s overall £6bn savings in 2010/11. (24 May 2010)

House of Commons Library: Key issues for the new Parliament: the House of Commons Library researchers have carried out an analysis of the key issues facing the new Parliament. The subjects covered range from the public finances to parliamentary reform and from the UK's energy mix to its strategic defence options. It includes: 

  • major infrastructure planning: how should decisions on major infrastructure projects be made?
  • quangos: there is tension between competing desires to reduce the influence of unaccountable ‘quangos’ and to de-politicise controversial decisions;
  • financing local government: public finance difficulties are not restricted to central government. It has been suggested that in the next three-year spending review period, unprotected services could face annual real cuts of up to 10%.  A 10% real terms cut in the 2010/11 grant to local authorities in England would be equal to approximately £6.7bn.

(28 May 2010)

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Municipal Waste

DEFRA: Municipal waste management statistics – provisional quarter 2: summary of estimates from DEFRA’s survey of municipal waste in England, incorporating the second quarter of the 2009/10 financial year (July to September 2009). These results are based on information supplied by local authorities to WasteDataFlow on the waste that they collect and manage. Key findings are: 

  • total municipal waste decreased by 0.44m tonnes or 1.6% in the year to end September 2009; 
  • a decrease in total household waste of 1.7%; 
  • waste sent to landfill decreased by 5.0%;
  • increase in the household recycling rate, from the average rate of 37.6% between April 2008 and March 2009 to 38.8% between October 2008 and September 2009;
  • average residual household waste decreased from 295 kg per head between April 2008 and March 2009 to 284 kg per head.

(6 May 2010) 

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Permitting and Licensing 

Environment Agency: Frequently asked questions about the new waste exemptions system. (12 May 2010)

Environment Agency: Guidance on low risk waste activities: this updated position statement sets out the Agency’s regulatory position on certain low risk waste activities. Having considered the risks posed by the activities set out in Appendix A, the Agency does not believe it is in the public interest to expect the operators of those activities to obtain an environmental permit to operate a regulated facility for a waste operation not carried out at an installation, i.e. those activities that previously required a waste management licence. This guidance only applies for the purpose of waste operations and the Duty of Care. (30 April 2010)

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