Government launches new waste plans
Government guidance designed to gently steer local authorities away from landfill sites has been published this week.The statement on the plans says: "We need to divert as much waste as possible from landfill sites, not just because space in landfill sites is running out and we have tough European targets to meet, but because we want to manage our waste in a more environmentally sound way.
"Therefore local authorities need to adopt realistic, long-term, integrated strategies and plans to deliver the right facilities to manage their waste, both on time, and where they are needed most."
The accompanying planning policy highlights the need to see waste as a resource which can be used, at least in part, and the importance of sending as little as possible to landfill.
While it does not go into specific details, it give strong indications that both incineration and recycling are viable options for councils.
The guidance reiterates that the overall objective of Government policy on waste is to 'protect human health and the environment by producing less waste and by using it as a resource wherever possible'.
It outlines the 'waste hierarchy' with reduction at the top of the tree, followed by reuse, recycling and composting, incineration for waste-to-energy and landfill as a last resort.
Full details of the sustainable waste management plan can be found on Defra's website.
By Sam Bond