CBI calls for ambitious waste policy to boost economy

More cooperation and ambitious thinking on waste could help boost the economy according to business report out today (February 14).

Launching the report called Making Ends Meet: Maximising the value of waste the UK business group promotes a move to a zero-waste economy.

The CBI claims more focus on waste could make it easier for more firms to sell their recyclable waste to other companies as a resource, boosting the economy.

To do tis the CBI wants a full audit of waste regulation and says the Government 'must' recognise the importance of waste management facilities to local communities in its planning reforms.

It also calls for more cross-governmental cooperation from DEFRA, DECC, BIS, DCLG and HMT beyond the lifetime of the waste review, taking joint ownership of the delivery plan.

The report also backs more energy from waste technologies to reduce our carbon use and deliver energy security, echoing a calls from energy secretary Chris Huhne who has bemoaned the fact only two anerobic digestion plants have been accredited under the Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs) scheme.

It could, said the report, also encourage councils to share waste and recycling facilities, creating savings.

With 300 of the UK's landfill sites due to close in the next decade, around 2000 new waste management facilities need to be built by 2020, at an estimated cost of £10bn.

With the waste policy review imminent, the CBI is calling for a cross-department approach from the Government and changes to the planning regime to deliver the investment needed in waste management infrastructure.

CBI deputy director-general, Dr Neil Bentley, said: "Rather than being viewed in isolation, waste management should be seen as an important part of the green economy and our growth strategy.

"Ambitious waste policies will allow the Government to hit a broad range of its objectives from cutting emissions to bolstering energy security.

"We should also be encouraging councils to share recycling and waste facilities, while businesses could be incentivised to sell their recyclable waste.

"But moving to a zero-waste economy will require government departments working together and thinking outside the box.

"There also needs to be swift action to tackle delays in the planning system. On average it takes seven years for a waste management company to get a plant up and running, of which four are spent in the planning process. That is not the way to attract investment."

Luke Walsh



Waste & resource management
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