Defra has today published its review of waste policies. Announcing the publication at a CIWM event this afternoon, Secretary of State for Defra, Caroline Spelman, said:
“For too long, we've lagged behind the rest of Europe, although we are catching up fast. Communities and businesses can help us become a first-class zero-waste economy and unlock the real value in the goods that people no longer want.”
Although mainly focussed on domestic waste policy, there are particular aspects relating to business that EEF welcome – such as supporting energy from waste where appropriate, and for waste which cannot be recycled, and a greater focus on how business can benefit from improved resource efficiency. Of course, Defra could have been bolder in trying to address C&I waste. For too long it has been in the shadows.
I would say that on the whole this is a welcome step forward in the government's approach to business waste. Many of the issues which have concerned business, especially smaller companies have been addressed and measures to aid collection of their waste and reduce regulation and costs are welcome. The proposals to support waste from energy that cannot be recycled is an especially bold move, although the issue of costs compared to landfill and access new capacity may remain an issue and therefore regional planning will be paramount.
We look forward to working with government to make these proposals happen.