Waste Watch - November 2013

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in November 2013.

30/11/2013

This Update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in 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:

   Animal By-products    Waste Management
   Food Waste    Waste Minimisation
   Municipal Waste    WEEE

Animal By-products

Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2952): these regulations, which come into force on 12 December 2013, streamline legislation on animal by-product controls by revoking and replacing the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/881), consolidating amendments and revoking the Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/614). The regulations update and take over the requirement for food business establishments to stain certain animal by-products to help prevent their fraudulent diversion into the human food chain. They enforce European obligations on operators in relation to animal by-products, including obligations as to disposal and use, prohibitions on feeding and placing on the market; in addition there are requirements for operators, plants and establishments to be registered or approved. (21 November 2013)

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Food Waste

WRAP: Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012: this report reveals a substantial reduction in the amount of household food and drink waste arising between 2007 and 2012; however, it also highlights the scale of the opportunity remaining. The report gives estimates of the quantity and types of food and drink waste generated by UK households in 2012, and compares these to 2007 estimates. It includes details of the types of food and drink wasted, why it is thrown away, and where the material goes. Since 2007, avoidable household food waste has been redccued by 21% but 4.2m tonnes of household food, worth £12.5bn, is still thrown away. WRAP's work shows it could be possible to reduce avoidable household food waste by a further 1.7m tonnes a year by 2025. (7 November 2013)

European Commission: Turning milestones into quantified objectives – Food waste: the European Commission’s Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe provides a framework for future actions and milestones for resource efficiency to be met by 2020. The milestone related to food proposes that by 2020: "disposal of edible food waste should have been halved in the EU". This document summarises the analysis performed in relation to potentially setting a target for food waste reduction. It sets out to define food waste, investigate how best it can be measured and provides a first assessment of the impacts of setting a food waste reduction target in the EU. (7 November 2013) 

WRAP: Overview of waste in the UK hospitality and food service sector: this report details waste produced in each of the nine subsectors including restaurants, quick service restaurants, hotels, pubs, leisure, healthcare, education, staff catering and services. It includes a breakdown of the type of food being wasted, as well as the cost of this food waste for each subsector. The report reveals that  the UK’s hospitality and food service sector is facing an annual bill in excess of £2.5bn for food waste, and that this could rise beyond £3bn by 2016 unless steps are taken to prevent food being wasted. (21 November 2013) 
See also:

  • The true cost of food waste within hospitality and food service that provides an estimate of the ‘true cost’ of a tonne of food waste generated by hospitality and food service businesses in the UK. This in turn provides part of the evidence base to generate the business case which will encourage businesses to reduce the amount of waste they produce, and deliver cost savings.
  • Taking Action on Waste information sheets: each sheet is tailored to a specific subsectors across the industry: healthcare, education, staff catering, services, restaurants, quick service restaurants, hotels, pubs and leisure. They inlcude simple, effective guidance for wasting less, recycling more and saving money, and good practice case studies.  

WRAP: Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 helps delivers £3.1bn in savings: announces the latest figures for waste reduction under Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 agreement, under which the grocery sector commits to reduce the carbon impact of grocery packaging, and cut supply chain and household food and drink waste. The figures for 2012 show that food and packaging waste was reduced by 1.7m tonnes. (28 November 2013)

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Health and Safety

HSE: Workplace health, safety and welfare – Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: Approved Code of Practice and guidance: revised guidance on the 1992 Regulations and Code of Practice. The Regulations cover a wide range of health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces. The guidance covers issues such as ventilation, temperature, lighting, cleanliness, room dimensions, workstations and seating, floor conditions, falls or falling objects, transparent and translucent doors, gates and walls, windows, skylights and ventilators, traffic routes, escalators, sanitary conveniences and washing facilities. (18 November 2013)

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Municipal Waste

DEFRA: Statistics on waste managed by local authorities in England in 2012/13: sets out annual final estimates for waste collected by local authorities in England and the regions. The statistics are based on data submitted by all local authorities in England to WasteDataFlow on the waste they collect and manage, and replace the provisional quarterly estimates published. They show that in 2012/13, the household waste recycling rate reached 43.2% in England in 2012/13 with much variation across local authorities. Household waste arisings have fallen 12% since 2006/07, down to 22.6m tonnes amounting to 423kg of waste per person in 2012/13, while local authority managed waste going for incineration with energy recovery rose 13% to 5.5m tonnes in 2012/13 and has more than doubled in the last ten years. (7 November 2013)

Welsh Government: Local authority municipal waste management report for Wales, 2012-13: this annual Statistical Bulletin presents final results for 2012-13 on local authority municipal waste collected and sent for disposal from household and non-household sources during the year as well as information for previous years. The figures show that the total amount of local authority municipal waste generated in Wales, excluding abandoned vehicles, has continued to fall since its peak in 2004-05, with 1.55m tonnes produced in 2012-13 and confirm that Wales has hit its statutory recycling target of 52%. The amount of residual waste continued to fall, with 0.7m tonnes disposed of via landfill or other methods of disposal/treatment during 2012-13. (14 November 2013) 

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Waste Management 

DEFRA: Waste management activities for 2014 to 2015 – DEFRA letter to sustainable resource management stakeholders: this letter sets out the priorities for DEFRA’s waste management activities for 2014 to 2015. It states that from April 2014, DEFRA will be stepping back in areas where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. It will therefore not have the capacity to take forward new policy work in areas such as commercial and industrial waste and construction and demolition waste, as well as proactive energy from waste policy development. The responsibility for taking work on anaerobic digestion and food waste forward will largely rest with the industries concerned. In addition, DEFRA will be reducing the amount of generic support it provides to local authorities regarding waste contracts and related areas. (6 November 2013)

DEFRA: Review of Defra funding for WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) – Summary report of the review and responses to the opportunity to comment document: in May 2013 DEFRA published an ‘opportunity to comment’ document that outlined the work that WRAP currently does for DEFRA and sought views about future priorities and the impact and possible mitigation strategies for WRAP continuing with reduced DEFRA funding. This document sets out how DEFRA intends to proceed in light of responses received. It states that savings of £10m can be achieved from DEFRA’s funding of WRAP while still allowing it a continued and effective presence in the economy. (6 November 2013) 

Environmental Noise, Site Waste Management Plans and Spreadable Fats etc. (Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2854): these regulations, which come into force on 1 December 2013, revoke various SIs, including the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/314) that were made under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to introduce a requirement for the preparation of Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) for the management and disposal of waste created in the course of construction or demolition works, and for compliance with them. The Government states that the intended effect of this de-regulation is to free up businesses from some of the more onerous parts of the 2008 Regulations, where they are unnecessary. SWMPs are still recommended when appropriate, and it is likely that they will be retained for larger construction projects, but as a tool rather than an administrative and regulatory burden. SWMPs are embedded within the construction sector, and removing the mandatory requirement will enable a more flexible system for businesses to use. (8 November 2013)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

DBIS: WEEE Regulations 2013 – Government guidance notes: interim guidance for businesses, public and third sector organisations and individuals involved in the sale, purchase and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from 1 January 2014. It explains the requirements on business, how to comply with the law and provides sources of further information. The 2013 Regulations are currently in draft form. The guidance will be reviewed once the European Commission publish a final version of their own guidance. (1 November 2013)

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Waste Minimisation

HC Environmental Audit Committee: Committee launches new inquiry into plastic bags: announces that the Committee is launching an inquiry into the sustainability of measures to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, in light of the Govenrment's stated intention to introduce a 5p levy on single-use plastic carrier bags in 2015. The Committee will look at the environmental impacts of the proposed charge in England, the relative advantages and disadvantages of the proposed levy rather than a possible complete ban on lightweight plastic bags, the rationale for excluding particular types of retailer from the levy scheme and any social, economic, hygiene or wider health impacts of the proposed levy. Evidence should be submitted by 9 December 2013. (22 November 2013)

DEFRA: Single-use plastic bag charge for England – Call for evidence: seeks views from retailers, consumers, industry, non-governmental organisations and local authoritieson how a charge for single-use plastic (carrier) bags would work in England. Some decisions about the charge have already been made, including the size of the charge (5p) and what it applies to (single-use plastic bags). The key issues that DEFRA would like to receive further evidence on are: exemptions; information and publicity, and ensuring compliance. The consultation closes on 20 December 2013. (25 November 2013)

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