This Update 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:

   Contaminated Land    Municipal Waste
   Freedom of Information    Permitting and Licensing
   Hazardous Substances    Producer Responsibility
   Incineration    Wales
   Infrastructure    Waste Collection
   Landfill    Waste Management


Contaminated Land

Environment Agency: Contaminated land capital projects – Summary of spend from 1990 to today: the Contaminated Land Capital Projects Programme provides funding to local authorities for the capital costs associated with investigating or cleaning up contaminated land in England under Part 2A EPA 1990. This report summarises how much money local authorities have been offered since the programme began. It also shows more detailed information from 2006 onwards, when the programme changed to capital grants, including how many bids were received each year and for what type of work (investigation or remediation). (5 September 2011)

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Freedom of Information

DCLG: Code of Recommended Practice for local authorities on data transparency: sets out the three principles of transparency that councils should follow when publishing data they hold: Demand-led, Open and Timely. The Code also proposes the minimum datasets that should be released for reuse, including:
  • expenditure over £500 (including costs, supplier and transaction information);
  • copies of contracts and tenders to businesses and to the voluntary community and social enterprise sector;
  • policies, performance, external audits and key inspections and key indicators on the authorities' fiscal and financial position; and
  • the location of public land and building assets and key attribute information that is normally recorded on asset registers.

(29 September 2011)

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Hazardous Substances

HSE: Proposals on revised Control of Asbestos Regulations: seeks on views on proposals to introduce revised regulations in order to implement the legislative changes required to comply with the European Commission’s reasoned opinion on the UK Government’s transposition of amended Directive 83/477 on the protection of workers from the risks to exposure to asbestos at work. The required changes mean in future fewer types of lower risk work will be exempt from the EC's requirements for notification of work, medical examinations and record keeping. HSE is asking for comments on: the proposals; the guidance to be produced to explain how the changes will work in practice; and the impact on business. The consultation closes on 4 November 2011. (5 September 2011)

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Environment Agency: Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 - Qualifying for R1 status using the R1 Energy Efficiency Formula: briefing note: Annex II of the revised Waste Framework Directive sets out a non-exhaustive list of recovery operations, the first of which is R1 – Use principally as a fuel or other means to generate energy. The Annex includes an energy efficiency threshold, which incineration plants dedicated to treating municipal solid waste must achieve, or surpass, in order to be defined as an R1 operation. The formula describes how to calculate the energy efficiency of the plant in order to compare it against the threshold. This note explains the waste incineration plants within the scope of the formula, how to apply for R1 status, annual reporting and the validity of the R1 status. (21 September 2011)

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Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group: Rubbish to resource - Financing new waste infrastructure: the  APSRG conducted a parliamentary inquiry into the financing of new waste infrastructure. Its report concludes that the UK needs to invest in waste management infrastructure immediately: £8bn is required by 2020 if the UK is to manage its waste sustainable and effectively, meeting and exceeding EU and domestic landfill diversion targets. The report finds that constraints on public sector spending, the fall in bank lending, the inherent risk in waste infrastructure projects and regulatory and policy uncertainty are together hindering the necessary investment in new waste infrastructure projects. To overcome these barriers, an approach is needed where policy and investor certainty and risk mitigation is provided to ensure that the necessary investment is made. (6 September 2011)

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Landfill (Maximum Landfill Amount) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/2299): these regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2011, specify the maximum amount by weight of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) that is allowed to be sent to landfills in the target years 2013 and 2020, for each of the UK, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as required by s.1(1) of the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003. (15 September 2011)

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Municipal Waste

WRAP: Bulky waste guidance: this guide for local authority staff and their partners provides practical help as well as information on the policy context, commissioning and procurement and on the benefits of reusing and recycling bulky waste, covering both collections from households and provision of services at Household Waste Recycling Centres. It includes a number of case studies that illustrate the key points and provide service specific information.
There is also an Executive Summary that gives a detailed overview. (12 September 2011)

Urban Mines Ltd: Rubbish economy - A review of business waste production in England: past, present and future: this report reviews data on how the amount of waste produced by English businesses has varied over the years as the economy has changed, and uses this background to forecast how business waste production is likely to change in the future. It outlines how the reduction in total levels of waste produced by industrial and commercial businesses results from a variety of factors, including recession and economic or sectoral decline, increased operational efficiency and the increase in landfill tax as well as increased recycling and waste minimisation. The report also highlights how new technologies such as energy recovery will become a cheaper alternative to landfill for waste that cannot be recycled. (13 September 2011)

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Permitting and Licensing

DEFRA: Environmental permitting guidance – Core guidance: this updated guidance describes the main provisions of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/675) and sets out how they should be applied and how particular terms should be interpreted in England and Wales. It is underpinned by further regulatory and technical guidance explaining aspects of the regime in greater detail. (26 September 2011)

Environment Agency: Consultation on our charges for 2012 to 2015: seeks views on the Agency’s proposals for its environmental permitting, abstraction and emissions trading charging schemes from 2012-2015. The main proposals are:

  • no change to the rate of charges for the majority of charge payers for two years with a check at the end of the first year, apart from abstraction charges, which will be increased each year to fund specific cost pressures; 
  • a small number of technical changes that are largely beneficial to industry; and
  • a small increase in charges in year 3.

The consultation closes on 21 December 2011. (28 September 2011)

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Producer Responsibility

Environment Agency: Guidance regarding the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009: SI 2009/890 implements the Batteries and Accumulators Directive 2006/66. The regulations place certain responsibilities on producers, distributors, waste battery treatment sites and waste battery exporters. They specify how waste batteries should be collected, treated, recycled and disposed of and set collection targets for portable batteries of 25% by 2012 and 45% by 2016. This document provides guidance regarding the classification of waste batteries, treatment and recycling and the role of a battery collector. (26 September 2011)

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Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/2184 (W.236)): these regulations, which come into force in Wales on 1 October 2011, make a number of amendments to SI 2010/2880 (W.238) that require sellers to charge a minimum price for singe use carrier bags. The principal regulations impose record-keeping and reporting requirements on sellers, appoint Welsh local authorities to administer the charging scheme and confer civil sanctioning powers on local authorities to enforce the Regulations. (7 September 2011)

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Waste Collection

WRAP: Literature review - Relationship between household food waste collection and food waste prevention: this paper by SKM Enviros assesses how different types of food waste collection/disposal schemes influence the amount and types of food waste generated by households. It focuses on changing household behaviour when collections are introduced, and what factors might affect this. (31 August 2011)

DCLG: £250m for councils to support weekly bin collections: announces a new Weekly Collections Support Scheme that will both support weekly collections and enable councils to invest in schemes and projects that will benefit the environment through raising recycling rates. Councils will be invited to submit innovative bids for funding, either individually or in consortia, and with the private sector. In order to encourage the most innovative and locally tailored solutions, authorities will be able to bid for a mix of revenue and capital funding. DCLG will issue further details in due course of how the Support Scheme will operate and how councils can bid. (30 September 2011)

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Waste Management

Environment Agency: Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 - Quick guide for waste producers and businesses: provides an overview of the 2011 Regulations, which implement the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98 and which came into force on 29 March 2011. (5 September 2011)

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