This Update contains brief details of 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 Performance    Recycling
   Hazardous Waste    Shipment of Waste
   Health and Safety    Waste Collection
   Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste Management

Environmental Performance

Environment Agency: Pollution at all time low but ‘no room for complacency’ warns Environment Agency chairman: the latest edition of the Agency’s Sustainable Business Report reveals that businesses are increasingly recognising that growth and responsible environmental practices go hand-in-hand, with more companies than ever are earning the highest 'A' excellence rating for environmental performance, while the number receiving the lowest ratings continues to reduce. Serious industrial pollution incidents have fallen to their lowest level for over a decade and industry is continuing to cut waste and emissions to air. (1 November 2012) 

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Hazardous Waste

DBIS: Implementation of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive 2011/65/EU – Government response to consultation: the new RoHS Directive 2011/65 replaces the original 2002 Directive that applied common restrictions on the levels of six hazardous substances that may be present in a wide range of electrical and electronic equipment, as well as minimising the end of life environmental impact of that equipment. The new Directive has a different scope and obligations on those placing products on the market, and this consultation sought views on the implementation policy, draft RoHS Regulations 2012 and UK’s draft guidance notes. The Government has revised the draft regulations in light of responses received, and will lay them before Parliament in late November 2012 so that they enter into force on 2 January 2013, the deadline for transposition of the new Directive. It has also published revised Government Guidance Notes for RoHS 2. (16 November 2012)

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Health and Safety

HSE: Local government FAQs: these FAQs help illustrate the nature of some of the issues that HSE routinely gives advice on regarding local authorities' health and safety duties. (16 November 2012)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

Welsh Government: A fly-tipping free Wales: this paper builds on the Welsh Government’s Fly-tipping Strategy 2007 and the Fly-tipping Action Wales partnership document "Pride in our Communities", which cover the period up to the end of 2012. It seeks views on the Welsh Government's proposed new high level objectives for tackling fly-tipping, which will be shared with Fly-tipping Action Wales and with its partners. The consultation closes on 28 February 2013. (26 November 2012)

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WRAP: Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) guide: this guidance for local authority officers, waste management companies and third sector re-use partners provides advice and supporting evidence on efficient and cost-effective HWRC management. It includes examples of good practice, an overview of relevant legislation and evidence-based approaches to assessing and improving HWRC performance. (8 November 2012)

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Shipment of Waste

EEA: Movements of waste across the EU's internal and external borders: this report presents movements of hazardous and certain non-hazardous wastes across borders between EU countries and to and from countries outside the EU. It analyses patterns of waste exports and imports and the driving forces behind them. It finds that increasingly stringent and harmonised waste policies in the EU have led countries to transport more waste material elsewhere, e.g. if they do not have the facilities to recycle or dispose of particular types of waste. There are increasing demands for recyclable materials, both within the EU and beyond, particularly in booming Asian economies. While trade of hazardous waste grew between 2001 and 2007, shipped volumes decreased in 2008 and 2009, probably due to the economic downturn. Exports of waste plastics and metals picked up again after the economic downturn and exceeded the pre-2009 levels in 2011. The international trade in recyclable material is expected to continue to grow, as is trade in hazardous waste, driven by the need to treat waste in specific facilities that are not available in all countries. (6 November 2012)

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Waste Collection

DCLG: ‘Weekly collection saved’ as government scheme delivers for 6 million families: announces the 85 local authorities that will share funding from the Weekly Collection Support Scheme to help them introduce better weekly collections, cost effective bids, environmental improvements and better use of innovative ideas or technology that help residents to recycle more and do their bit for the environment. There is also a list of winning bids. (22 November 2012)
Bevan Brittan LLP has issued an Alert that advises waste officers on procurement, legal and VfM issues to be considered when deciding how best to apply any cash awarded from the Scheme: 85 Councils to receive funding to improve waste and recycling services – are you one of the lucky ones? 

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Waste Management

DEFRA: Local authority waste management statistics for England – Final annual results 2011/12: these statistics summarise the data on waste collected and managed by local authorities in England in the financial year from April 2011 to March 2012. The main points are that, in 2011/12: 

  • 43% of household waste was recycled. Although this is the highest recycling rate recorded for England, the rate of increase has been levelling off, with 2011/12 being the lowest year on year increase for ten years; 
  • household waste generation was 22.9m tonnes, continuing the year on year fall seen since 2007/8. This amounts to 431kg of waste per person; 
  • local authorities recycled, composted or reused 10.7m tonnes of the waste they collected.

The Annex contains a new analysis of greenhouse gases and Local Authority Collected Waste,  presented as experimental statistics. (8 November 2012)

Welsh Government: Local Authority Municipal Waste Management, April-June 2012: these latest  statistics show that there has been a 2% point increase in recycling in Wales compared to the same three months in 2011/12. Welsh councils collectively recycled 53% of their waste in the first quarter of 2012/13, meaning that Wales is on course to meet its first statutory target. (22 November 2012) 

Welsh Government: Construction and demolition sector plan: this plan sets out how the Government will work with the construction sector to increase their recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill. It details outcomes, policies and actions on waste for organisations, companies and individuals in construction and demolition in Wales. (23 November 2012)

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