London Remade challenges Defra to up the pace on waste

Recycling organisation London Remade has responded to Defra's waste strategy review, welcoming it direction but calling for a bolder approach and more far-reaching targets.

In its response the organisation says recycling alone is not the solution and more needs to be done to promote waste minimisation and re-use that will also reduce the dependence on landfill.

It welcomes the fact that Defra is now looking at waste as a resource management challenge, viewing waste as a resource with a value that needs to be recaptured wherever possible.

Danny Silverstone, chief executive of London Remade, said: “We are pleased with the way in which Defra has approached this review particularly as it has located waste management within the broader objectives of climate change and sustainable development, but there are some points where we believe Defra could move further and faster on waste.

“We’d like to see greater investment in the smaller municipal and commercial waste projects, those in the £5-20m range, which fall below the established PFI thresholds. We recommend more effective regional arrangements for developing strategic sites for waste management and landfill tax at a level that will create an incentive for waste companies to invest in recycling and create markets for recycled content products.”

The response also argues that better regulation of waste companies and an audit trail of waste movements are vital if we are to have an industry that is operating ethically, safely, is environmentally friendly and instils public confidence.

“We need to encourage individuals and businesses to manage their waste resources more sustainably and they need to be assured that waste materials are being handled and disposed of properly,” said Mr Silverstone.

“We would like to see stronger fiscal incentives to get the recycled content products industry into the mainstream. A landfill tax at the right level will help to do this, as will a commitment from Government to support the development of stronger markets for recycled content products through public sector procurement programmes.”

Consultation on Defra’s review of England’s Waste Strategy closed on May 9.

Sam Bond

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