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    Planning
   Enforcement    Recycling
   Infrastructure    Shipment of Waste
   Landfill    Waste Management
   Litter and Fly-tipping    WEEE

Animal By-products

DEFRA: Derogations from the Animal By-Product controls under Regulation (EC) 1069/2009 and Commission Regulation (EU) 142/2011 – Authorisations by the Secretary of State to enable derogations to be used in England: updated details of exemptions from the EC controls on the safe use and disposal of animal-by products. The table of authorisations shows which exemptions may be used in England and any conditions that operators need to follow. (3 July 2014)

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Home Office: Fight on metal theft boosted by government funding: announces further £500,000 funding for the National Metal Theft Taskforce, which develops intelligence, coordinates activity and targets and disrupts criminal networks - both the thieves and also the criminal market, including rogue elements of the scrap metal industry. This latest funding, which runs to the end of September 2014, will allow the taskforce to continue its hugely successful programme of coordinated national days of action. (1 July 2014)

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Green Investment Bank: The UK residual waste market – A market report: this report sets out the investment opportunity in the UK waste market. It forecasts a gap of up to 7.7m tonnes between the amount of waste produced post-recycling and the infrastructure available to process it – an investment opportunity of c.£5bn to 2020. The UK produced 85m tonnes of waste in 2012, of which almost 21m tonnes were sent to landfill. The report highlights how using non-recyclable waste as a fuel to generate energy rather than sending it to landfill could deliver both much needed UK energy generation capacity as well as significant environmental benefits over the longer term. (16 July 2014)

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HMRC: Landfill tax – Liability of waste 'fines': the Government announced in Budget 2014 that it will introduce a ‘loss on ignition’ test by April 2015. The lower rate of landfill tax will apply where fines meet an LOI threshold of 10% or less. This consultation sets out a proposal for how the testing regime will operate, including processes for the testing of samples and record-keeping requirements. The consultation will be of particular interest to operators of landfill sites and mechanical treatment plants and other waste industry interests including representative bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The consultation closes on 19 September 2014. (30 June 2014)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

HC Communities and Local Government Committee: Litter: the CLG Select Committee is launching an inquiry into litter, in light of concerns that levels of littering and fly-tipping are failing to reduce substantially, despite campaigns and publicity aimed at changing public behaviour, and despite a suite of powers and duties for local councils and other bodies. The costs of managing litter and fly-tipping are significant – Keep Britain Tidy puts a £1bn plus annual price tag on managing litter and its knock-on impacts nationally. The Committee invites submissions on how significant a problem littering and fly-tipping is, and whether current government policies are adequate and give local authorities enough autonomy to tackle the problem in local communities. The closing date for submissions is 16 October 2014. (22 July 2014)

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R (Corrie) v Suffolk CC [2014] EWHC 2490 (Admin) (Admin Ct): C, a local resident, applied for judicial review of the Council's decision as waste planning authority to grant planning permission to itself as waste authority for the construction of a waste transfer station on a site at Bury St Edmunds that was currently being used as a Household Waste Recycling Centre. The planning authority's screening opinion concluded that an environmental impact assessment was not required and the Secretary of State (SoS) issued a screening direction which stated that the development would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment. C argued that, in making its decision, the Council had failed: to have regard to any assessment of the impact of the new waste facility on the future occupiers of proposed new homes in the area; to have regard to the Environment Agency's comments on the impact of the new waste facility on the proposed residential development; to ask the SoS to reconsider his screening direction once all the correct information relating to hazardous waste was known; and to regard a material consideration in the form of Legionella disease.
The court held, refusing the application, that the legal test was whether the inquiry made by the Council was so inadequate that no rational planning authority could suppose that it had sufficient material available upon which to make its decision to grant planning permission. It was not irrational of the Council not to undertake a formal assessment of the noise impact of the facility on the new development or to conclude that the potential housing development would be not prejudiced by granting planning permission for the new waste facility when the plans for the new housing were so very broad brush. The SoS's screening direction conclusively determined that this waste facility was not an EIA development; the Council was bound by this screening direction and it was therefore entitled to grant planning permission. The failure to challenge the SoS's screening direction meant that this ground of challenge must fail. The court also dismissed the other grounds. (22 July 2014)

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European Commission: Towards a circular economy – A zero waste programme for Europe (COM(2014) 398): the EC has formally adopted proposals to turn Europe into a more circular economy and boost recycling in the Member States. The plans include a draft Waste Targets Review Directive that aims to recycle 70% of municipal waste and 80% of packaging waste by 2030, and bans burying recyclable waste in landfill from 2025. A target is also included for reducing marine litter along with food waste reduction objectives. The legislative proposals will now pass to the Council and the European Parliament. (2 July 2014)

Green Alliance: Wasted opportunities – Smarter systems for resource recovery: this report shows how the UK's recycling market isn’t working: businesses want to use recycled materials, and reprocessors want to build the infrastructure to provide recycled material, but the UK’s current system makes this difficult. It argues that a better system, organised more like the Danish system, could bring forward £2bn in private investment in new infrastructure. It advocates two ways in which government could address the structural factors blocking a more circular economy for discarded materials from emerging in the UK, and how this could unlock opportunities for remanufacturing and reuse. (15 July 2014)

WRAP: Approaches to the marketing of dry recyclables by local authorities: guidance to help local authorities maximise the benefit that they obtain for the dry recyclables collected as part of their provision of waste services. It is designed to equip local authority officers with the knowledge required to select the right materials sales strategy for their circumstances, exploring key commercial considerations such as the pricing mechanism to be used, material quality and operational requirements. It includes a number of example contract clauses in relation to the mechanisms described. (17 June 2014)

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Shipment of Waste

EU Regulation 660/2014 amending Regulation (EC) No.1013/2006 on shipments of waste [2014] OJEU L189/135: this Regulation amends the EU Waste Shipments Regulation 1013/2006, so as to strengthen the provisions relating to enforcement and inspections, with a view to ensuring regular and consistent planning of such inspections. The EU Regulation enters into force on 17 July 2014 and applies from 1 January 2016. (27 June 2014)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1771): these regulations, which come into force on 25 July 2014, make various amendments to the WEEE Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3113) and teh ROHS Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3032) so as to update references to the Northern Ireland WEEE Regulations and to correct drafting errors. (4 July 2014)

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Waste Management

WRAP: Gate Fees report 2014 – Comparing the costs of alternative waste treatment options: this report summarises the gate fees charged for a range of waste treatment, recovery and disposal options. It also looks at the factors likely to influence future gate fees, compared with last year’s results. It shows that gate fees charged at Material Recovery Facilities have increased slightly on the previous 12 months, while the number of local authorities surveyed who reported the use of anaerobic digestion facilities has almost doubled. (9 July 2014)

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