The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will take over the remits of six other agencies to become a single super delivery body for government-funded recycling and waste programmes aimed at making organisations and households more resource efficient.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn, announcing the change last Wednesday (March 25), said: “All these organisations have done a great job in helping businesses and households to use resources more efficiently. But we know that some customers were confused by the myriad of services and bodies, so that is why we are making these changes.

“Now, under WRAP leadership we will provide a one stop shop for resource efficiency advice, and this should make it quicker and easier for people to get what they need.”

The agencies to come under WRAP’s leadership are:

  • the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme

  • Envirowise

  • the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse

  • Construction Resources and Waste Platform

  • Action Sustainability

  • Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) centre for local authorities.

  • The decision follows recommendations from the Delivery Landscape Review set up last year (2008) to look at the seven resource efficiency organisation funded by Defra.

    The government and WRAP say having a single contact point will make it easier for businesses and households to get the advice they need.

    Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP, which will take over delivery of all services from April 2010, said: “We welcome this opportunity to lead a single organisation for resource efficiency.

    “This decision is a vote of confidence in WRAP and will make it less confusing for business to access the wide range of resource efficiency programmes on offer.

    “It also provides an opportunity for economies of scale as we will now share services and support over a wider range of activities than WRAP or any other organisation has been able to achieve to date.”

    The government outlined plans in the 2006 budget to cut the number of publicly funded business support schemes from more than 3,000 to less than 100 by 2010.
Some fear the change has been driven by a need for Defra to save money and that it could make it more difficult to access support.

    A spokesman for The Federation of Small Businesses said last year: “There is not much dedicated support there for SMBs that want to go green, so folding what there is into larger organisations would be a cause for concern.”

    It is not yet clear what job losses and budget changes may result from the move.

    David Gibbs

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