Renew On Line (UK) 69
|Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 169 Sept-Oct 2007
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
7. New Waste Recycling plan
DEFRA has produced a new strategy for cutting waste, which is seen as a key element in the drive to tackle climate change- landfilled waste is a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while reducing and recycling waste saves energy and raw materials.
Following calls from local authorities, the Government has also launched a parallel public consultation on removing the ban on local authorities introducing financial incentives for recycling. It says that ‘any such schemes will have to return all revenues back to local residents’. DEFRA says that experience in other countries shows such schemes boost recycling and reduce waste overall- cutting the cost of waste disposal to councils and householders. It adds that removing the ban on local authorities introducing financial incentive schemes, would see those who recycle more and produce less residual waste, getting money back, but it will be up to local councils to choose how to structure this. ‘It empowers local authorities to make the right decisions for local circumstances in consultation with their local populations’. The strategy makes clear that initiatives to boost recycling should be supported by effective action to prevent fly tipping and the illegal dumping of waste.
The main points of the waste strategy include:
* More effective incentives for individuals and businesses to recycle waste, leading to at least 40% of household waste recycled or composted by 2010, rising to 50 per cent by 2020. This is a significant increase on the targets in the previous waste strategy, published in 2000.
* A greater responsibility on businesses for the environmental impact of their products and operations through, e.g. a drive to minimise packaging and higher targets for recycling packaging.
* A strong emphasis on waste prevention with householders reducing their waste (e.g. via home composting and reducing food waste) and business helping consumers, for example, with less packaging. There will also be a new national target to help measure this- to reduce the amount of household waste not re-used, recycled or composted from 22.2 million tonnes in 2000 to 12.2 million tonnes by 2020- a reduction of 45%.
* Junk mail: the Government has agreed with the Direct Marketing Association to develop a service so that people will be able to opt-out of receiving unaddressed as well as addressed direct mail. The Government is also considering moving towards an approach where people would only get direct mail if they opted in by placing their name on the direct mail register.
* Working with retailers for the end of free single use bags. This could involve retailers only selling long-life bags, or retailers charging for disposable bags and using the proceeds to sell long-life bags at a discount.
* A challenge to see recycling extended from the home and office and taken into public areas like shopping malls, train stations and cinema multiplexes, so that it becomes a natural part of everyday life.
* Subject to further analysis and consultation, banning biodegradable and recyclable waste from being put into landfill sites.
* An increase in the landfill tax escalator by £8 per year from 2008 until at least 2010/11- announced by the Chancellor in March. Partly as a result of this, business waste landfilled is expected to fall by 20% by 2010 compared with 2004.
* Increasing the amount of energy produced by a variety of energy from waste schemes, using waste that can’t be reused or recycled. It’s expected that from 2020, 25% of municipal waste- waste collected by local authorities, mainly from households- will produce energy, compared to 10% today.
Food waste The waste strategy also sets out the Government’s view that there are strong environmental arguments for encouraging more separate collection of food waste to boost composting and anaerobic digestion. Where food is collected separately, evidence suggests higher recovery levels are achieved by collecting it weekly. WRAP has published a report, ‘Managing Biowastes from Households in the UK: Applying Life-cycle Thinking in the Framework of Cost-benefit Analysis’. The report, along with other relevant studies, can be accessed at www.wrap.org.uk/biowaste
|We are now offering to e-mail subscribers a PDF version of the complete Renew, instead of sending them the printed version, should they wish.|