WASTE REVIEW: Industry dismayed at lack of ambition

Disappointment is building around the Government's Waste Review announcement today (14 June) as industry reaction to the policy document starts to emerge.

Many commentators believe the review lacks teeth, with no new targets set or legislative drivers announced. Some have called it a ‘light touch’ approach to future waste management in England, warning that its focus on voluntary agreements do not go far enough.

Shanks Group’s chief executive, Tom Drury, said: “We feared the review would be heavy on ambition and light on action, and unfortunately we were right.

“By not introducing new regulation to ensure compliance and not shortening timescales to encourage pace of change, it is unlikely to deliver the environmental and economic outcomes required to achieve the zero waste target.”

The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) called the review “toothless” saying it had hoped for more solid policies. BMRA’s director general, Ian Hetherington, said: “We would have liked to have seen more flesh on the bones of the Government’s proposals after a year of work.”

He also expressed his frustration on the lack of urgency regarding energy-from-waste. “We are extremely disappointed that thinking on energy-from-waste has not been further developed and the opportunity for leadership on this issue has not been seized.”

Ray Georgeson, an independent consultant and respected commentator, said on twitter: “Sneaked an early look at Defra Waste Review. My expectations were low. They’ve all been met.”

Meanwhile, a joint statement released by the two main industry bodies – the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) welcomed the review, but questioned whether it could deliver in a number of areas.

These include creating a planning and investment landscape that will deliver the £10-20 billion of new infrastructure needed, and encouraging business and industry to become more fully engaged in the drive towards a zero waste economy.

ESA’s director of policy, Matthew Farrow, said the review “must translate into a framework that enables the industry to invest in the waste facilities needed.”

Maxine Perella

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