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:

   Contaminated Land    Procurement
   Hazardous Waste    Recycling
   Permitting and Licensing    Waste Management
   Policy    Waste Shipment

Contaminated Land

Environment Agency: Contaminated Land Capital Projects outcomes report for 2011/12: the Environment Agency manages DEFRA’s Contaminated Land Capital Projects Programme that provides funding to local authorities and the Agency to help cover the capital costs associated with investigating or cleaning up contaminated land in England under Part 2A EPA 1990. The majority of the funding goes to those sites where the original polluter can't be found, and thus liability for the clean up costs passes onto the current owner/occupiers of the site. Local authorities have a duty to assess the ability of the current owner/occupiers to pay for some (or all) of the remedial costs. The funding is there to help with the costs of remediation where those who are liable cannot afford to pay, or where a site is 'orphan'. This report summarises what the funding was spent on in 2011/12 on both local authority and Environment Agency sites. (28 January 2013)

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Hazardous Waste

Environmental Services Association: Raising standards – Making DEFRA’s hazardous waste strategy a reality: this report calls for concerted action to improve the way that hazardous waste is treated in England and Wales. It makes four key recommendations as to ways to ensure that the Government’s Hazardous Waste Strategy 2010 is made a reality, and also makes some specific suggestions for improving the treatment of specific types of hazardous waste, including air pollution control residues, contaminated soils, and oily sludges. (15 January 2013)

European Commission: Review of the List of Restricted Substances under Directive RoHS 2 – Initial stakeholder consultation: the ROHS Directive 2002/95 restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The EC is conducting a review of the restricted substances and has launched a consultation that aims to support the identification of hazardous substances used in EEE. The closing date for comments is 10 February 2013. (20 January 2013)

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Permitting and Licensing

Draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013: these regulations, once in force, amend SI 2010/675 so as to transpose the IPPC Directive 2010/75, which recasts seven current Directives into a single one about regulating emissions from various industrial activities. Much of the material in the component Directives is substantively unchanged, but there are some tightened or clarified requirements. They also remove some otiose descriptions of industrial activities from Schedule 1 to those Regulations and repeal three other SIs which have no current purpose. (16 January 2013)

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Policy

HM Government: The Coalition – Together in the national interest: the Coalition Government has published its Mid Term Review that takes stock of progress made in implementing the Coalition Agreement signed in May 2010. The Review mainly lists what the Government has done so far to implement its policies to build a stronger, more balanced economy and a fair society. It also highlights what it claims are a "new set of reforms" to secure the country’s future and help people realise their ambitions. These include: 
  • trebling support to low carbon energy up to 2020 through a stable levy control framework; 
  • keeping the ROCs regime open for new projects until 2017 and implement the Electricity Market Reform mechanisms to support renewable energy and ensure that Britain meets its 2020 obligations under the Renewable Energy Directive; 
  • funding a range of projects to reduce levels of air pollution in urban areas; 
  • implementing the Biodiversity Strategy and building natural capital through local nature partnerships; 
  • investing more than £2.3bn in flood risk management and aiming to exceed the target to improve protection for 145,000 homes by 2015, while also supporting flood-prone communities to access insurance.

Detailed plans for public spending for the 2015/16 fiscal year will be set out before Summer 2013, in line with the overall path of deficit reduction which has already been set out to 2017/18.
Alongside the Mid Term Review, the Government has published its Mid-Term Review – Programme for Government Update, which provides details of the progress that has been made in implementing each of the commitments in the Programme for Government. It provides a snapshot of the work that has been done, up to the end of 2012. (7 January 2013)

European Commission: Report on the implementation of the EU waste legislation:  reports on the implementation of seven pieces of EU legislation on waste over the period 2007-2009, based on information received from Member States. It covers the Waste Directive 2006/12, Hazardous Waste Directive 91/689 and Waste Oils Directive 75/439 (now superseded by the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98), Sewage Sludge Directive 86/278, Packaging Waste 94/62, Landfill Directive 1999/31, and the WEEE Directive 2002/96. It concludes that EU waste legislation has to a large extent been properly transposed into national legislation. The report includes an overview of EU waste legislation as at July 2012 and graphs comparing the generation and treatment of municipal waste in each Member State. (17 January 2013)

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Procurement

Cabinet Office: Significant boost to social enterprises as the Social Value Act comes into force: highlights the implications of the coming into force of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. The Act requires local authorities and other commissioners of public services to consider how their services can benefit people living in the local community. The Act was brought into force on 31 January 2013 by SI 2012/3173 (C.124)).  (31 January 2013)
For a summary of the Act, see our  Alert: Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

See also: Cabinet Office: The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 – Advice for commissioners and procurers (Procurement Policy Note 10/12): this PPN advises commissioners and procurers on how they must follow the 2012 Act and take it into account when considering procurements of certain types of services contracts and framework agreements. (7 January 2013)

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Recycling

WRAP: Bring recycling guide: “bring recycling sites” are areas in car parks and on streets, where local authorities or third parties provide containers for the public to deposit recyclable materials. This guidance has been designed to help local authorities improve the performance of such sites and ensure they are a valuable element of the overall recycling service that local authorities offer to residents. It describes how to review current bring recycling provision, including performance monitoring, to better inform future decisions about on bring recycling, as part of the overall service provided to residents. As well as the detailed guide, there are individual topic overview sheets and factsheets and a downloadable tool in Excel that has been designed to help users find relevant information. (11 January 2013)

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Waste Management

WRAP: Decoupling of waste and economic indicators: the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98 requires Member States to develop waste prevention programmes by the end of 2013, with the aim of decoupling economic growth from the environmental impact associated with the generation of waste. This report seeks to investigate the key trends and drivers of waste arisings in the UK nations and the effectiveness of various waste prevention measures in reducing waste at the same time as facilitating economic growth. (9 January 2013)

Welsh Government:  Site waste management plans: seeks views on proposals to make Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) a legal requirement for construction and demolition projects in Wales. It includes draft Site Waste Management Plans (Wales) Regulations 2013 and a draft Site Waste Management Plans (Fees and Charges) (Wales) Scheme 2013. The consultation closes on 25 April 2013. (31 January 2013)

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Waste Shipment

Environment Agency: Waste exports – A good practice guide for local authorities: this guide has been produced to help local authority officers, and those who work on their behalf, to ensure that all waste intended for export complies fully with the appropriate legislation and controls, and also to demonstrate good practice that can help to minimise the risk of illegal export by third parties further down the line, reducing the risks for other countries and helping to keep waste as an economic resource in the legitimate recycling and recovery chain. Based on a survey of local authorities and waste contractors in the South East of England, it includes legislative requirements from the point of collection to treatment, constraints to exporting waste, good practice recommendations, and local authority case studies. (7 January 2013)

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