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:

    Composting and Food Waste    Waste Collection
    Hazardous Waste    Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 
    Litter and Fly-tipping    Waste Policy
    Municipal Waste  

Composting and Food Waste

Quality Action Plan for Compost and Digestate: Guidance for food waste collections from businesses: guidance for companies collecting food waste from businesses on how they can save money, manage compliance risk and provide their customers with a better service.  It outlines how collection companies can benefit from improving feedstock quality and practical steps on how it can be achieved.  It also provides some examples of how this can be incorporated into their policies and day-to-day operations. (14 August 2017)

Organics Recycling Group: Say NO to plastic: announces the launch of a campaign to raise the awareness of plastic contamination in green waste feedstock. It states that local authorities need to make a renewed effort to follow their duty of care to ensure that they only deliver clean green waste to composters and for composters to reject poor quality loads without penalty. Failure to tackle the growing problem of plastic contamination in organic waste inputs will lead to the demise of the composting industry and the loss of a valuable recycling route. Alongside this, they need to send clear messages to residents about not contaminating their green waste or food bins. (4 August 2017)

Welsh Government: Plans to halve Wales’ food waste announced by Lesley Griffiths: the Welsh Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary has announced a consultation on a non-statutory target for Wales to halve food waste by 2025, against a 2006-07 baseline. (16 August 2017)

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Hazardous Waste

SEPA: Entrepreneurial partnership launched to tackle Scotland’s waste tyres: announces a major new strategic partnership between the SEPA and Entrepreneurial Scotland, aimed at eliminating the problem of waste tyres as an environmental issue in Scotland. The new partnership sets in motion an ambitious challenge for entrepreneurs to find sustainable new business opportunities for waste tyres over the next five years. Alongside this, SEPA has committed to developing a specific Sector Plan that will set targets and actions to directly tackle waste tyres and the criminal behaviours, such as illegal dumping, that the industry can attract. (2 August 2017)

Ecosurety and Belmont Trading UK Limited kick-start first UK battery recycling plant: announces an agreement between two recycling and resource efficiency organisations to process up to 20,000 tonnes of batteries p.a. This arrangement would cover the UK’s entire battery waste requirements, and effectively creates the UK’s first functioning battery recycling plant. It says that the partnership should cut the UK's waste export bill and also reduce costs for producers. (14 August 2017)

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Litter and Fly-tipping

DEFRA: New fund launched to reduce litter through innovative projects: announces a new Litter Innovation Fund, with £500,000 funding for community projects that tackle the blight of littering. The funds will support the development of new innovation and approaches for tackling litter. The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 26 September 2017. (26 August 2017)

DEFRA: Review of fixed penalties for environmental offences and introduction of civil penalties for littering from vehicles outside London – Summary of responses: summarises responses to the April 2017 consultation that sought views on the levels for section 88 fixed penalties in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for littering and other environmental offences, and on use of the income received from fixed penalty notices. An overwhelming majority of responses (87%) agreed that the fixed penalties for littering should be increased. Similar majorities also agreed that the fixed penalties for graffiti, fly-posting and the unauthorised distribution of free literature in designated places should be increased in line with changes to the fine for littering. Respondents were more divided on the question of whether councils should be able to spend their income on any of their functions, with a small majority in favour. The Government will take these responses into account when developing further litter policy. (26 August 2017)

LG Inform: Local authority reported fly-tipping: the LGA's Research & Information team have written a new report exploring fly-tipping reported by English local authorities. The report explores locations of fly-tipping incidents, fly-tipping by size of incident, the cost of fly-tipping clearance, fly-tipping enforcement actions, their costs and results of actions. The data can be viewed for any district, metropolitan, unitary or London borough, with a comparison group of the user's choice. (4 August 2017)

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Municipal Waste

Welsh Government: Local authority municipal waste management, January to March 2017: provisional data for the 12 months ending March 2017 reveals that Welsh authorities now recycle, reuse or compost 64 per cent of waste, up from the previous year’s rate of 60 per cent. The total amount of municipal waste generated in Wales in January – March 2017 decreased with the tonnage falling by 6 per cent, from 400k to 375k tonnes, compared to the same quarter of 2016, while the residual household waste generated per person decreased by 4 per cent, falling to 48kg per person. (24 August 2017)

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Waste Collection

LGSCO: Lifting the lid on bin complaints – Learning to improve waste and recycling services: this focus report looks at some of the commons issues arising in complaints about bin collections. The report shows that the Ombudsman upheld 81% of its complaint investigations into council waste and recycling services last year, up from 59% the year before. The report suggests ways in which councils could improve their waste services and complaint handling, based on learning from the Ombudsman’s casework. It will help local councillors support people who raise queries about bin collections and there is a set of questions to help councillors scrutinise their local authority’s services. (23 August 2017)

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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Valpak: New funds to support increased re-use and recycling of waste electrical equipment announced: announces the launch of a £665,000 fund to support projects, led by local authorities, to deliver increased levels of re-use and recycling of waste electrical equipment. The funding comes from the Distributor Takeback Scheme and the Compliance Fee mechanism, both established under the UK WEEE Regulations. Proposals are now sought from local authorities working with partner organisations that are innovative, sustainable and which aim to drive collections of waste electrical equipment for re-use and recycling. The closing date for applications is 29 September 2017. (1 August 2017)

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Waste Policy

Biffa: The reality gap 2017 – UK residual waste management infrastructure: The continuing challenges and requirements: this report considers how, when setting the UK's waste management agenda, a similar path to the EU can be followed but a more bespoke, realistic and resource-based solution can be developed in support of national industrial and environmental strategies and related infrastructure requirements. It acknowledges that the UK has achieved a great deal when it comes to improving its environmental credentials, from recycling to Energy from Waste; but it highlights a series of key challenges that need to be addressed if the entire waste and resource industry is to remain a productive part of the wider economy. It calls on all parties involved in the waste industry – from regulators to waste companies – to take an imaginative and collaborative approach when drawing up the UK’s strategy following our departure from the EU. (29 August 2017)

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