Defra dashes hopes over food waste landfill ban

A senior government figure has moved quickly to extinguish hopes for a landfill ban on food waste following calls this week that one should be introduced.

Defra’s deputy director for food waste Clare Hawley confirmed that the Government had not changed its stance on the matter since the publication of the Waste Review last year.

Speaking at the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association annual exhibition and conference in Birmingham today (July 4), Hawley told delegates that clarification was needed in light of the AD industry’s renewed push for a ban.

“Our long term vision is that no food waste goes to landfill,” she said. While revealing that Defra would review restrictions around biodegradable waste later this year, Hawley said it was highly unlikely that any new measures would be imposed in the short-term.

“We will need to be content that restrictions are the best value way of moving waste up hierarchy and that the cost to businesses and the consumers [of doing this] is affordable. That is where we are, that is where we were a year ago, and I don’t think that is going to change.”

The news is bound to disappoint many in the AD sector who feel that such restrictions would help drive uptake of source-segregated food waste collections and boost feedstock security for plant operators.

But besides the practical challenges of enforcing such a ban, edie understands that any such move would be met with hostility from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and likely to be overruled by his department.

Maxine Perella

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