New Waste Management Plan 'Could Increase Disposal Rates'

Posted on 7th October 2013

A new waste management plan for UK councils unveiled by Defra "lacks vision" and could increase waste disposal levels, hindering recycling rates according to feedback from the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC).

During the consultation of Defra's latest waste management plan in September, LARAC called the proposals a "missed opportunity", raising concerns that the decentralising nature of the new plans would cause confusion and lead to an increase in the disposal of waste at a time when recycling levels need to increase as rates are currently stagnating.

In response to Defra's proposals, LARAC told

"LARAC feels that as the plan doesn't introduce any new measures or policies, on the face of it should not introduce any additional financial burdens for Local Authorities."

They added:

[We] feel that the approach across the UK of handing down responsibility for interpretation of the Waste Framework Directive [has created] a confusing and disjointed approach to developing policies and targets.

LARAC's concerns are that the new plans will lead to an increase in landfill disposal of waste, as opposed to investing time in recycling methods. All of this comes at a time when recycling rates are trailing off and the ever-increasing cost of waste disposal affect local government finances, which are already under strain.

The group's recommendations suggest that a more challenging plan with delivering a "circular economy" in mind will lead to far more benefits and effective waste management for local governments. This could, the group says, lead to increased growth within the waste management sector and create more jobs a much more beneficial outcome.

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