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:

   End of Waste    Procurement
   Energy from Waste    Recycling
   Enforcement    Transfer of Waste
   Finance    Waste Policy
   Municipal Waste    WEEE
   Permitting and Licensing

 

End of Waste

Environment Agency: Converting waste into products – End of waste submission form guidance: the Agency can provide a view on whether waste can be classified as a product and outside of waste regulatory control. This leaflet sets out information that must be supplied in the end of waste submission forms for waste-derived products. (17 March 2014)
The Agency has also published three new Quality Protocols on End of Waste criteria for the production and use of:

A Quality Protocol identifies the point at which waste, having been fully recovered, may be regarded as a non-waste product that can be used in specified markets, without the need for waste management controls.

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Energy from Waste

DEFRA: Refuse-derived fuel market in England – Call for evidence: the Government is keen to ensure that Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) produced for both the domestic market and for export is limited to material which cannot be effectively recycled, and that the combination of fuel and technology is sufficient to deliver clear environmental benefits. This call for evidence looks at the RDF market in England, for both domestic use and for export. It asks whether there is a case for taking action, to ensure that the waste hierarchy is fully applied and the environmentally beneficial outcomes of alternative waste management routes are fully realised, for example by introducing a common standard. It aims to fill the gaps in the evidence base to help the Govenrment determine whether there is a need for some form of intervention to deliver the desired environmental outcomes and, if so, help develop workable policy options. The closing date for submissions is 9 May 2014. (12 March 2014)

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Enforcement

Environmental Services Association Education Trust: Waste crime – Tackling Britain's dirty secret: this report examines the problem of crime in the waste and resource sector, in light of concerns that as the rewards relating to ‘waste crime’ grow, a culture of criminality is taking root in the industry. The authors argue that this issue needs to be properly addressed, and they call on the Government to take action against this growing crime. They fear that further cuts to the Environment Agency’s budget, resulting in staffing cuts of nearly 15%, must inevitably result in a squeeze on enforcement. Their key message is that the business case for enforcement activity to stop waste crime is even stronger – it will quickly pay for itself many times over, through increased tax income, reduced clean-up costs and a thriving legitimate waste sector. (4 March 2014)

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Finance

HM Treasury: Budget 2014: the Chancellor has delivered his Budget for 2014, which is set out under the themes of economy, growth and fairness. Key points of interest for the municipal waste sector are:

  • Government departments will underspend by £7bn in 2013-14, and will continue to underspend until the end of this Parliament
  • Further efficiency savings will be required to support the Government’s commitment to put the public finances on a sustainable path; the Cabinet Office will set out an ambitious new efficiency programme to deliver savings from 2016-17 and across the next Parliament in the Autumn Statement 2014
  • The aggregates levy rate will remain at £2 per tonne in 2014‑15. As confirmed in the Autumn Statement 2013, legislation will be introduced to suspend elements of the aggregates levy that are subject to a formal state aid investigation by the European Commission, from 1 April 2014
  • The standard and lower rates of landfill tax will increase in line with the RPI, rounded to the nearest 5p, from 1 April 2015
  • The value of the Landfill Communities Fund for 2014-15 will be reduced to £71m; as a result, the cap on contributions by landfill operators will be amended to 5.1% (see SI 2014/707). The saving will be used to fund an equivalent one-off increase to address waste crime 
  • The Government is committed to making the planning system work for major infrastructure projects and will shortly publish the outcomes of its consultation on the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning Regime, including a series of measures to streamline and improve the process
  • The Government is looking now to further reduce the waste and complexity of public services, including reshaping public services. New seminar series led by HM Treasury will engage with key stakeholders to consider opportunities for further reform, and to develop ideas to support further fiscal consolidation in the next Parliament
  • A new Wales Bill will devolve new tax and borrowing powers to Wales, enabling the Welsh Government to raise more of the money it spends and providing it with further tools to support growth in the Welsh economy
  • Pay awards for most public sector workers covered by the recent Pay Review Body recommendations will be limited to 1% in 2014-15; the intention is to limit awards to 1% in 2015-16
  • An extra £85m for the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE) scheme in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 for over 100,000 grants to employers

A number of documents have been published alongside the Budget Report, including the National Infrastructure Plan finance update, with information on how the economic infrastructure investment planned over the coming years (including waste infrastructure) is expected to be financed – defining the nature and extent of the potential investment opportunity to 2020. (19 March 2014)

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Municipal Waste

DEFRA: Charges for household waste recycling centres: Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis and Resource Management Minister Dan Rogerson have written to Northamptonshire CC and Norfolk CC about the councils' plans to charge the public for using household recycling centres. The Ministers ask the councils to explain how this conforms with their duty to provide sites for the deposit of household waste under s.51 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. (28 February 2014)

Audit Commission: Local authority waste management – Using data from the Value for Money Profiles: this Value for Money (VfM) briefing examines English local authorities’ spending and performance on household waste management, using data from the VfM Profiles. The figures show that spending on, and levels of, waste managed by councils have reduced nationally since 2009/10. It identifies wide variation across authorities and argues that up to a possible £464m could be saved overall, if councils spending the most brought down their spending to the average for their authority type and waste responsibilities. (27 March 2014)

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Permitting and Licensing

DEFRA: Materials facilities – How to report on mixed waste sampling: materials facilities to whom the Environmental Permitting Regulations apply have new sampling, testing and recording duties from 1 October 2014. This guidance details when, how and what should be recorded by these facilities. (24 March 2014)

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Procurement

Crown Commercial Service: Contracting for value - Model services contract: the Crown Commercial Service and the Government Legal Service have developed a revised set of model terms and conditions for major services contracts with a value over £10m; it replaces the out-of-date OGC Model ICT Contract version 2.3 and reflects current Government priorities and recommended ways of doing business. The model is suitable for use with the range of business services that Government purchases and in particular contains applicable provisions for contracts for Business Process Outsourcing and/or IT delivery services. (4 March 2014)

European Commission: New Procurement Directives [2014] OJEU L94: the three new Procurement Directives have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. They are the Public Sector Directive 2014/24, Utilities Directive 2014/25 and the Concessions Directive 2014/23. The Directives will come into force on 17 April 2014; member states will then have 24 months to implement them. There is an option for additional time for implementation of some of the e-procurement provisions. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland we expect an early implementation date – before the end of 2014. The next stage in the implementation process will be formal consultation on draft Regulations. We will be analysing the new Directives and will be issuing a number of updates over the coming months – if you would like to be added to our procurement mailing list, please email Claire Booth. (28 March 2014)

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Recycling

DEFRA: Consultation on changes to the glass packaging recycling business target to 2017 – Summary of response and government response: in Decmeber 2013 the Government consulted on a proposal to reduce the recycling targets for glass packaging in the Packaging Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3082), in light of evidence from WRAP that Great Britain and Northern Ireland were currently over-achieving against the EU's glass packaging recycling target. This document provides a summary of the responses received and the Government's response. The Government has decided that the revised glass packaging recycling business targets to 2017 will be:

  • 2014: 75%
  • 2015: 76%
  • 2016 & onwards: 77%.

Revised regulations will be introduced as soon as possible, which will apply retrospectively for the compliance year 2014. (20 March 2014)

LGA: Routes to reuse – Maximising value from reused materials: this report considers how to increase the reuse of products and unlock value for the taxpayer. It focuses on the potential for increasing the proportion of household waste that is reused. The report concludes that in total, there could be up to £435m of value available each year through disposal savings and resale value to taxpayers, charities, businesses and consumers. It finds that nearly 615,000 tonnes of material that currently finds its way to landfill or incineration could instead be repaired, resold or donated, saving more than £60m each year – equivalent to a potential saving on each household’s council tax bill of £3. It makes a number of practical recommendations on how to: encourage people to increase the amount they reuse; make buying reused goods more attractive to consumers; and support reuse charities and companies to grow. (27 March 2014)

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Transfer of Waste

Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/656): these regulations, which come into force on 6 April 2014, amend SI 2011/988 in order to clarify that the transfer of controlled waste may be recorded on alternative documentation, such as invoices, instead of waste transfer notes. They also add a new list of “relevant offences” for the purposes of refusing registration of carriers, brokers and dealers of controlled waste. The Waste Management Duty of Care Code of Practice, which provides a comprehensive guide to the transfer of controlled waste, is due to be updated and re-published in 2014. (14 March 2014)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

DBIS: Code of practice for the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from designated collection facilities: updated guidance on the minimum standards that must be met by producers and the operators of designated collection facilities (DCFs) for the collection of WEEE under SI 2013/3113. The requirements include the nature and content of service level agreements or other contractual arrangements to ensure that the separate collection of WEEE at DCF sites is maximised, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. (6 March 2014)

DBIS: WEEE Regulations 2013 – Government guidance notes: updated guidance for businesses, public and third sector organisations and individuals involved in the sale, purchase and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment from 1 January 2014. It explains the requirements of the WEEE Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3113) on business, how to comply with the law and provides sources of further information. The revisions include further information on the product scope of the regulations, and small producers of electrical equipment and the option to appoint authorised representative. It also updates references to wider waste and environmental permitting legislation in chapters 8 and 9. (17 March 2014)

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Waste Policy

HL Science and Technology Committee: Waste or resource? Stimulating a bio-economy: this report argues that a clear, long-term strategy and stable policy environment is needed to encourage and stimulate the waste-based bio-economy. It also calls on the Government to create a Waste Champion: a Minister who can co-ordinate action and policy across different departments. This Waste Champion should not only ensure that the UK has the ideal environment for a waste bio-economy to flourish, but also produce a long-term plan, covering least 15 years, to support the development of a high value waste-based bio-economy. The Committee concludes that the economic and environmental opportunities presented by exploiting carbon-containing waste as a resource and feedstock are substantial. It makes a number of recommendations, including that the Government create a more standardised system of waste collection across local authorities in order to maximise the potential of waste as a resource. (6 March 2014)

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