Waste Watch - May 2012

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 inMay 2012.


Nadeem Arshad

Nadeem Arshad


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:

   Carbon Reduction    Transport of Waste
   Environmental Protection    Waste Collection
   Infrastructure    Waste Management
   Landfill    WEEE


Carbon Reduction

Committee on Climate Change: How local authorities can reduce emissions and manage climate risk: this report looks at local authorities' crucial role in helping the UK meet its carbon targets and preparing for the impacts of climate change. It says local authorities have significant influence over key emitting sectors including residential and commercial buildings, surface transport and waste; however, at the moment there is no requirement for local authorities to set targets and implement measures to reduce emissions within their area, and the scale of ambition is generally low given limited funding and lack of obligation. The Committee argues that limited action at the local level will put achievement of national carbon budgets at risk. To strengthen incentives for local authorities to act, and therefore reduce risks that carbon budgets will be missed, the Committee recommends the introduction of a statutory duty for local authorities to develop and implement carbon plans, and an increase in national funding to support such programmes. The report highlights good practice examples from a number of local authorities, including a case study of Birmingham City Council’s Green Deal programme. (17 May 2012)

^back to top 

Environmental Protection

HC Environmental Audit Committee: The green economy: this report critically examines the Government's strategy to create a green economy set out in 'Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy'. The Committee considers that the strategy is too focused on voluntary action and fails to set a clear trajectory or any time-bound milestones for businesses to achieve. It is concerned that the Government has delayed introducing mandatory emissions reporting for big business and urges Ministers not to go back on their promise to do so. The report warns that Government plans to rationalise the UK's environmental regulations must not be a smokescreen for relaxing rules protecting health, countryside or wildlife in a short-term pursuit of growth, and points out that regulations have an important role in safeguarding the nation's health and the environment. The Committee states that the current definition of "green economy" adopted by the Government crucially does not address all three interdependent pillars of sustainable development, including the social pillar, well-being and environmental limits. What is needed is a Treasury-led green economy strategy, which addresses the economy as a whole, while future Budgets should give greater consideration to support for the green economy. (21 May 2012)

UKELA: The state of UK environmental law in 2011-2012 - Is there a case for legislative reform?: this report sets out key findings from a major research project into the State of Environmental Law, as well as UKELA's recommendations for reforms and further research. The project aimed to investigate the nature and cause of the perceived problems in the operation of environmental legislation in the UK, and explore avenues for potential reform, including possible improvements to legislative scrutiny mechanisms and a greater role for environmental principles in UK environmental law. (23 May 2012)

^back to top 


DEFRA: Climate resilient infrastructure - Preparing for a changing climate: outlines the challenges to the transport, energy, water and ICT infrastructure sectors to adapting to climate change. The report sets out what action needs to be taken by infrastructure owners and operators, regulators, insurers and Government. It highlights how urgent action is required to protect the infrastructure which the national economy relies upon from the effects of climate change. The economy could suffer if planning and design do not take into account the impact which more extreme weather will have on essential services such as transport networks and power supplies. (9 May 2012)

Welsh Government: Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for growth and jobs: sets out ambitious plans to deliver growth and jobs with a £15bn spend on roads, schools, hospitals, housing and other capital projects over the next decade. It outlines the Welsh Government’s strategic investment priorities, provides a detailed account of sectoral investment plans through to 2014-15 and sets out the key elements of a new approach to infrastructure investment. Annex 1 contains a Project Pipeline that lists all Welsh Government programmes and projects where total scheme value exceeds £15m and which are due to begin within the next three years (if not already started). (22 May 2012)

^back to top 


HM Revenue & Customs: Landfill Tax - Material used on a landfill site; and classification of waste: this Brief for landfill site operators and their advisers provides further clarification on the Landfill Tax treatment of material used on a landfill site and also the evidence needed when considering whether to apply the lower rate of Landfill Tax to certain wastes. (18 May 2012)

HM Revenue & Customs: Landfill tax - Removal of Public Notice LFT2 and form LT1C: HMRC stopped accepting applications for Landfill Tax exemption certificates for waste arising from the reclamation of contaminated land in December 2008, as the first stage of a phased withdrawal of the exemption. HMRC completely withdrew this Landfill Tax exemption on 31 March 2012 and anyone carrying out reclamation of contaminated land can no longer benefit from the exemption. This notice advises that therefore HMRC is removing Notice LFT2, form LT1C and all other references to them from the HMRC website. (30 May 2012)

^back to top 


WRAP: Collection and sorting of household rigid plastic packaging: sets out key considerations, benefits and options for local authorities who are planning to add non-bottle rigid plastic packaging, comprising pots, tubs and trays, to existing kerbside recycling schemes. It looks at  how the supply chain works and highlights the questions that authorities should ask to inform procurement and service-change decisions. (4 May 2012)

^back to top 

Transport of Waste

DEFRA: UK plan for shipments of waste: this Plan, which entered into force on 9 August 2007 and amended with effect from 15 May 2012, this UK policy document implements the long-standing UK policy of self-sufficiency in the disposal of waste by strictly limiting when waste may be shipped to or from the UK for disposal. It replaces the UK Management Plan for Exports and Imports of Waste (1996). Any shipment of waste for which notification is required under the Waste Shipments Regulation 1013/2006 is subject to this Plan. (15 May 2012)

^back to top 

Waste Collection

DCLG: Supporting weekly collections - Prospectus and bidding form for applicants: update: in February 2012 DCLG invited local authorities to bid for funding from the new Weekly Collection Support Scheme, which makes up to £250m available to local authorities that wish to introduce, reinstate or retain weekly collections of household waste. Following feedback from the expressions of interest stage, the Outline Bid form has been updated to include space for further financial and environmental details. There is also a worked example for the environmental tool in the outline bid form. The deadline for submitting completed bid forms was 11 May 2012. (1 May 2012)
See also DCLG: Weekly collection support scheme – Frequently asked questions: responds to issues raised during the expression of interest process of the Weekly Collection Support Scheme and at the recent LGA workshops, and provides technical advice on completing the bidding form. (2 May 2012)

Environmental Offences (Fixed Penalties) (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1151): these regulations, which came into force on 30 May 2012, amend SI 2007/175 by altering the prescribed range for a fixed penalty capable of being specified by a waste collection authority under s.47ZB(2)(a) EPA 1990 in relation to an offence under s. 46 of that Act (failure to comply with requirements regarding receptacles for waste collection). The fixed penalty is changed from £75 - £110 to £60 - £80. (10 May 2012)
See also the DEFRA press release: Hefty bin fines cut that outlines the effect of these changes. It also reports that DEFRA is currently considering the responses to its consultation on proposals to remove the criminal sanctions in s.46 EPA 1990, leaving only civil sanctions available, and to introduce a “harm to local amenity” test. These changes will be taken forward when parliamentary time allows. (30 May 2012)

Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Amendment of Fixed Penalty Amount) (England) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1150): this Order, which came into force on 30 May 2012, amends s.47ZB EPA 1990 to reduce the amount payable for a fixed penalty given under s.47ZA from £100 to £60 if a local authority does not specify the amount of the penalty under the FPN. (10 May 2012)

^back to top 

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

DBIS: Waste electrical and electronic equipment - Call for evidence: following the Environmental Red Tape Challenge, DBIS committed in the Budget 2012 that it would consult on preventing excessive compliance costs for business from the WEEE Regulations. In order to assess potential policy options, it needs has issued this call for evidence to improve the evidence regarding compliance costs arising from the regulations, to help inform decisions about appropriate solutions. In particular, it is seeking information and data on costs of treating WEEE and the costs to producers in discharging their obligations. The deadline for submissions is 23 July 2012. (28 May 2012)

^back to top 

Waste Management

Environment Agency: Recovery of street sweepings and gully emptyings – Guidance for waste disposal authorities in Wales: this guidance supports accurate reporting for the Landfill Allowances Scheme and the Statutory Recycling Targets. (1 May 2012)

DEFRA: Local authority collected waste management statistics for England – Provisional release of Quarter 2 2011/12: this statistical release summarises waste collected and managed by local authorities in England in the 12 months from October 2010 to September 2011. The figures show that the tonnage of local authority collected waste being sent to landfill by local authorities has decreased by 7.6% to 10.5m tonnes. Household recycling has increased from 41.5% to 42.5% while household waste production is down 1.4% to 23.1m tonnes. (3 May 2012)

European Commission: Preparing a Waste Management Plan – A methodological guidance note: the Waste Framework Directive 2006/12 requires the competent authority in each Member State to draw up Waste Management Plans. This guidance assists waste management planning and promotes the development of more coherent and appropriate planning practices across the Member States. It can be used in the drafting of both national waste management plans in Member States and local management plans for a municipality or region. (16 May 2012)

DEFRA: Construction and demolition waste, England: presents updated statistics. In 2010, total construction and demolition waste for England was estimated at 77.4m tonnes. (17 May 2012)

 ^back to top 

Related Insights

Updated PAS 91 – selection questionnaire for works contracts

by Emily Heard

Bevan Brittan Achieves New Management Standard for the Provision of...

by Peter Rogers

Bevan Brittan makes two new partners in promotions round

by Duncan Weir

Bevan Brittan maintains positive performance in Chambers directory

by Duncan Weir

Keep up to date With Bevan Brittan

What interests you?

About you?