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:

   Biodegradable Waste    Recycling
   Energy from Waste    Waste Collection
   Enforcement    Waste Management
   Landfill    Waste Minimisation
   Permitting and Licensing    WEEE

Biodegradable Waste

WRAP: A survey of the UK Anaerobic Digestion industry in 2013 (ASORI): this study quantified the processing of organic material via anaerobic digestion (AD) in the UK using a survey of AD operators. The report summarises the methodology employed and the results obtained from the survey. It findd that there has been a 34% increase in the total number of operational AD plants between 2012 and 2013, up from 87 to 117 plants, and an increase of 51% in the tonnage of organic material processed, from 1.69m tonnes to 2.55m tonnes, excluding those AD plants typically associated with the drinks industry which use AD to process liquid effluent and discharge the treated effluent to sewer. (11 December 2014)

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Energy from Waste

DEFRA: Refuse derived fuel market in England – Defra response to the call for evidence: refuse-derived fuel (RDF) is fuel produced from waste that has undergone some sort of process, from sorting and bailing to mechanical treatments. In March 2014 DEFRA issued a call for evidence that invited views and evidence on any issues affecting the RDF market in England, the need for Government intervention and the form such intervention might take. This paper discusses a number of common points raised by respondents and for each, sets out how the Government intends to proceed. It also discusses a number of interventions suggested in responses to the call for evidence that the Government does not propose to take forward. (1 December 2014)

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DEFRA: Consultation on the draft Control of Waste (Dealing with Seized Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015: seeks views on draft regulations on the seizure of vehicles in relation to offences concerning waste. The aim of the draft regulations is to help reduce illegal waste activity, including fly-tipping, by giving enforcement authorities more effective tools to use in the investigation and prosecution of suspected offences. The Government is seeking views on the proposed approach to seizure of vehicles and invites comments on its assessment of the likely costs and benefits. The consultation closes on 3 February 2015. (15 December 2014)

Environment Agency: Enforcement and sanctions – Guidance: updated guidance explaining how the Environment Agency makes enforcement decisions, the types of tools available and associated processes. It should be read in conjunction with the Enforcement and Sanctions: Statement, which replaces the EA's former enforcement and prosecution policy, and the Offence Response Options. (19 December 2014)

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HMRC: Landfill tax – Liability of waste ‘fines’: Summary of responses: in June 2014 HMRC consulted on detailed proposals to introduce a Loss on Ignition (LOI) testing regime by April 2015 to assist in making judgements on the landfill tax liability of fines produced from the processing of waste at mechanical treatment plants. This document summarises the responses received, and sets out the Government’s response and the next steps in the process. It states that HMRC will continue to discuss and agree the detail of the final proposals with the Government-industry working group and will produce draft primary legislation for consultation during December 2014 and draft secondary legislation in January 2015. Additionally, guidance will be produced on the new processes in consultation with the working group that will be issued in advance of the introduction of the LOI test on 1 April 2015. (10 December 2014) 

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Permitting and Licensing

Environment Agency: The management of extractive waste (SR2014 no.2): standard rule guidance and generic risk asssessment, issued under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, for the management of extractive waste, not including a waste facility, generated from onshore oil and gas prospecting activities of drill, core and decommissioning without well stimulation (using oil and / or water based drilling mud). There are two waste management plans to accompany the SR2014 No.2 rules. (9 December 2014)

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HC Public Accounts Committee: Transforming contract management: this report scrutinises the contracting out of public services. It finds that the Government will not achieve value for money from its contracts until it pays much more attention to contract management as the Civil Service has prioritised the work involved in letting contracts and deemed the monitoring of contracts as mechanical and unimportant. Also, contractors have not shown an appropriate duty of care in the use of public funds. Some suppliers have lost sight of the fact that they are delivering public services, and that brings with it an expectation to do so in accordance with public service standards. It warns that Government must guard against suppliers becoming too important to fail, and should encourage competition through, for example, disaggregating contracts to encourage SMEs to bid for work. Government needs to extend its open book access arrangements in order to better understand contractors’ performance and costs and ensure that contractors can only increase profits by performing better or cutting the cost to the taxpayer. Contractors also need to accept that spending public money brings with it a greater degree of public scrutiny and transparency; they must be far more open through, for example, the publication of contracts and performance indicators being standard practice. (10 December 2014)

Cabinet Office: Procurement Policy Note 11/14 – References and public procurement: this PPN explains how commercial staff in contracting authorities can provide references for their suppliers. (12 December 2014)

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WRAP: Barriers to recycling – A review of evidence since 2008: this updated report reveals new and emerging barriers to recycling at home, which if tackled could help householders recycle more effectively. It also considers how effective people are when recycling. It finds that uncertainty over the collection of plastic materials and food waste in particular present the most confusion. The report reaffirms the original four main barriers identified as situational, behavioural, knowledge and attitudinal previously identified by WRAP in 2008. It highlights very specific challenges that impact on recycling rates, and discusses how councils and waste management companies can help residents overcome these by providing clear, simple messages around what can be recycled locally. (12 December 2014)

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Waste Collection

Welsh Government: Statutory guidance on the separate collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass: statutory guidance setting out the requirements for the separate collection of paper, metal, plastic and glass as prescribed by the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/988). The 2011 Regulations establish separate collection as the default position, and set out the conditions under which the relevant establishments or undertakings can deviate from that default position. (17 December 2014)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Environment Agency: Scope of equipment covered by the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations – How to accurately report EEE placed on the market: this guidance explains how producers identify whether their EEE is covered by the WEEE Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3113) and how check the category and weight of EEE they place on the market during a compliance year. (9 December 2014)

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Waste Management

Environment Agency: Waste management 2013 - England: summary of data for 2013 on permitted waste management activities. It provide information about wastes accepted and removed from their facilities. (2 December 2014)

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Waste Minimisation

DEFRA: Waste prevention programme for England – "One year on" newsletter: sets out the progress made over the last 12 months on some of the main actions highlighted for government in the Waste Prevention Programme for England. (10 December 2014) 

WRAP: The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement – 1 year on progress: notes progress towards achieving the targets for reducing food and associated packaging waste as well as increasing recycling rates. (2 December 2014)

DEFRA: Exciting new waste prevention projects receive £330,000 funding: announces the ten innovative waste prevention projects that have received funding from the Innovation in Waste Prevention (IWP) Fund for projects that help communities work together to prevent waste. (10 December 2014)

Draft Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015: this draft Order, which will come into force on 5 October 2015, requires retailers with 250 or more employees to charge a minimum amount of 5p for unused single use (lightweight) plastic bags used for taking goods out of shops or for delivering them. It also sets out exemptions to the charge, based on bag size, thickness, intended use, cost or combination of those factors. The charge will be enforced by local authority trading standards officers. (19 December 2014)

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