CIWM: EFRA report ‘could have gone further’

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has welcomed the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee's (EFRA) waste management report, but also said its recommendations could have gone further.

Yesterday (22 October) EFRA published a report entitled ‘Waste Management in England’.

The Committee was critical of Defra and urged it to show “strong leadership” on waste management policy to help drive up “static recycling rates”.

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee said that the report was “useful” as it reiterated and supported the calls made by the resource management sector “over the last two years for more leadership, inter-departmental coordination, and policy clarity from Defra”.

He added: “However, the report is still focused on the ‘here and now’ situation; it stops short of articulating the step change in policy approach that will be needed from Defra and other Government departments in the future, not least in light of the higher recycling and landfill diversion targets currently on the European’s Commission’s agenda.

“We need a proper strategy for waste and resources, a clear policy framework to deliver greater waste prevention, improved recycling and better infrastructure provision for both municipal and commercial waste, and a roadmap that fully exploits the synergies between our sector and the wider energy, resource security and sustainable economic growth agendas.”

Lee also warned that for the report to have “its fullest impact”, the CIWM would like to see EFRA using “this opportunity, and future inquiries, to drive home the potential future impact and cost of Defra’s ‘back seat’ stance on waste”.

‘Confusion myth’

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) also broadly welcomed the report but called for the end of the confusion myth with the EFRA report saying that too many collection systems are confusing the public.

Chair Andrew Bird said: “We applaud the fact the report recognises the threefold increase in rates since 2000, due to the hard work of local authorities. The current slowdown in recycling rates across England is a direct result of the policy vacuum and the drastic funding cuts councils have had to contend with, which those outside of local authorities should not underestimate.

“It will not matter if the policy void is filled, without accompanying funding, councils will still be forced to weigh up the need for expanded waste services against education, social services and health and wellbeing needs.”

Liz Gyekye

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