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 two months.

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:

   Batteries    Permitting and Licensing
   Food Waste     Procurement
   Health and Safety    Recycling
   Landfill    Waste Management
   Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste PFI


DBIS: Implementation of the Amended Batteries Directive 2013/56/EU – Consultation: seeks views on the Government's approach to implementing the EU Amended Batteries Directive 2013/56. The new Directive amends the original Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive 2006/66 by removing certain exemptions to the prohibitions in the directive on the placing on the market of batteries containing mercury or cadmium, and amending the provisions relating to the removability of a waste battery from an appliance by an independent qualified professional. In particular, DBIS wants to know if the draft amending regulations are accurate and do not exceed the new Directive’s requirements, and whether it has accurately assessed the costs to consumers and business and the time required for retailers and wholesale managers to familiarise themselves with the amending regulations. The consultation closes on 5 November 2014. (6 August 2014)

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Food Waste

Welsh Government: Food manufacture, service and retail sector plan: the Welsh Government has launched its the Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan that aims to prevent waste, reduce its production and increase recycling across supply chains. The Plan focuses on addressing waste management and resource efficiency in the food and drink and associated packaging supply chain in Wales. It encourages the food and drink manufacturers and processors wholesalers and retailers and service providers to look at their waste prevention, preparation for reuse / recycling and treatment and disposal of waste. This plan supports  the waste strategy for Wales, Towards Zero Waste. (30 September 2014)

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Health and Safety

Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum: Reducing fire risk at waste management sites: this revised draft guidance details what measures waste operators can take to prevent fires. It provides operators with the information and standards required to reduce the likelihood and frequency of fires occurring on solid waste handling sites and, where fires do occur, to reduce the potential health and environmental impacts. (1 September 2014) 

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Welsh Government: Wales meets targets to reduce biodegradable waste sent to landfill: announces that Welsh councils have met their biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) targets under the Landfill Allowances Scheme for 2013/14. Overall, Welsh local authorities sent 345,022 tonnes of BMW to landfill compared to the 2013/14 Wales allowance of 450,000 tonnes – 23% less than the allowance. Since the scheme began in 2005/2006, Welsh councils have reduced the amount of BMW sent to landfill by 59%. (8 September 2014)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

Welsh Government: Over £2.2 million to tidy-up communities across Wales: announces funding to support 75 projects as part of the Tidy Towns initiative to help Welsh communities transform unused land and tackle problems such as littering, fly tipping, dog fouling and vandalism. (8 August 2014) 

House of Commons Library: Litter – Commons Library Standard Note SN/SC/6984: local authorities in England and Wales spend almost £1bn per year clearing up litter, but the cost of litter goes beyond the cost of clearing it up: there are implications for health, the environment and tourism. This note outlines the financial cost of litter, relevant legislation and penalties for the offence of littering, forthcoming legislation and how to combat litter. It does not cover fly-tipping. (11 September 2014)

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Permitting and Licensing

Environment Agency: Guidance on low risk waste activities: the Agency recognises that certain operations involving waste present little risk to the environment and that it is not in the public interest to require the operator to have a permit. This updated guidance sets out the Agency’s regulatory position on these low risk waste activities. The appendix and guidance lists those operations that it considers to be low risk. (12 September 2014) 

Environment Agency: Consultation on our charges from 2015: seeks views on charging proposals for the environmental permitting, water abstraction and EU emissions trading schemes that will take effect from 1 April 2015. The proposals include some specific changes to address long term poor performing waste facilities and Installations, with an increase in the compliance charge factor where sites have been in Compliance Bands D, E or F for more than two consecutive years. There will also be a new permit commencement charge to reflect the Agency's additional costs over the first 12 months of a new permit being in place. The consultation closes on 20 November 2014. (30 September 2014) 

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Cabinet Office: UK transposition of new EU Procurement Directives: seeks views on draft Public Contracts Regulations 2015 that implement the Public Procurement Directive 2014/24 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Once in force, the new regulations will replace the current Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The draft Regulations use a “copy out” approach to the transposition of the provisions of the Directive, which means that they follow the language, layout and numbering in the Directive as closely as possible. This approach, together with other helpful information on drafting, is explained in the Technical Note on Drafting that accompanies the draft Regulations. The consultation closes on 17 October 2014. (19 September 2014)
See our alert: New draft Procurement Regulations published.

Bevan Brittan: Byte size procurement update 11: The draft Public Contract Regulations 2015 – Implementing optional provisions: the Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on the draft Public Contracts Regulations that transpose Directive 2014/24. The draft Regulations include some additional provisions not in the Directive. This byte size update highlights some of the optional provisions which will be of particular practical interest to those working in procurement. (26 September 2014)

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DCLG: Recycling Reward Scheme 2015-16 – Prospectus: the Government has launched a £5m Recycling Reward Challenge Fund to help local authorities encourage households to increase recycling rates that builds on the success of around 40 projects to trial and pilot reward programmes. The funding will help councils with weekly collections increase their recycling rates, by giving incentives to households who recycle. This prospectus contains the information that prospective bidders will need to complete their bids. The closing date for submission of bids is 7 November 2014. There are also FAQs and an application form. (29 August 2014)

Welsh Government: More people recycling on the go in Wales: announces the success of the Recycle on the Go campaign, which provided £497,000 funding via WRAP Cymru to a range of community and commercial organisations to buy recycling bins and promote recycling, to enable more people to recycle when out and about in Wales. (6 August 2014)

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Waste Management

SDU: Cambridge Unversity Hospitals reducing waste: this case study shows how the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is utilising new systems and software to reduce its waste by up to 25%. (2 September 2014)

DEFRA: UK statistics on waste: this statistical release contains information for 2010 to 2012 about total waste generated for the whole of UK, the contribution of different sectors and its management.  Key points are that:

  • UK recycling rate of ‘waste from households’ reached 43.9% in 2012, rising from 42.9 % in 2011;
  • Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) sent to landfill has continued to reduce and in 2012 was 10.3m tonnes – 29% of the 1995 baseline value;
  • Waste Statistics Regulation return 2012 estimated waste generation from commercial and industrial economic activities in the UK to be 48m tonnes in 2012, of which 39.4m tonnes was from England.

(25 September 2014)

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Waste PFI

HC Public Accounts Committee:  DEFRA – Funding allocation and oversight of three PFI waste projects: this report scrutinises DEFRA's support to three PFI waste projects run by Norfolk CC, Surrey CC and a joint project managed by Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire CC. It concludes that the Department’s support of PFI to build waste management infrastructure may result in long term contracts that are too inflexible for a sector where technology is continually evolving and the amount of waste produced can be hard to predict. DEFRA has more work to do to improve local authorities’ contracting capability, especially for PFI projects, and ensure that they only pay for what is delivered in future without getting locked into long, inflexible contracts. It should act with far greater urgency when it has concerns about a project’s progress and support local authorities to negotiate PFI contracts that are better value for money for local taxpayers. The Committee makes a number of recommendations concerning DEFRA's management and supervision of PFI projects. (17 September 2014)

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