Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management, Dan Rogerson, today (16 September) opened the RWM in partnership with CIWM 2014 event, speaking via recorded message in the energy from waste theatre.
Rogerson, who will be speaking live at the event on Thursday (18 September) in the Circular Economy Connect theatre, outlined his ambitions for the sector, saying that the key goal of government is to boost economy across all sectors while continuing to improve the environment.
He began by giving praise to the waste and resources industry, which is worth £6.3m and employs over 105,000 people, for providing innovation year after year in helping to extract the value from resources.
Rogerson set out his ambitions for the resource sector.
On the circular economy he referenced the EU Commision’s communications published this year. He welcomed the move but stated that the government wants to make sure the Commission’s proposals are developed with member states, that they allow flexibility that they ensure costs are justified by the expected impacts.
He also said they should avoid unnecessary burdens on business and create an environment that welcomes innovation.
Dan Rogerson – “I believe the role of government is to help facilitate the transition to a more circular ecomony,” he said, “to ensure the right framework is in place and that businesses have the tools and the freedom to realise the benefits of that”
Rogerson also questioned whether an entirely circular economy is “desirable and achievable”. He first commented that an entirely circular economy was not desirable at the CIWM Conference this year.
“I believe the role of government is to help facilitate the transition to a more circular ecomony,” he said, “to ensure the right framework is in place and that businesses have the tools and the freedom to realise the benefits of that.
On meeting EU target of recycling 50 percent of waste by 2020 he said: “I recognise there is some work to do to ensure that we meet the 50 percent target of recycling household waste by 2020. But I believe that by working together, local authorities, waste companies, industry and householders, we can improve good practice in recycling and make it more convenient for householders to recycle.”
On the subject of TEEP he said that he is confident local authorities will be in a position to “deliver the right system for their local area and to deliver those quality recyclates.”
“With the MRF code of practice taking effect from next month, this will be an important step in allowing you to demonstrate the high quality that can be achieve from commingled collection systems,” he said.
On the subject of waste crime Rogerson said that the full nature of waste crime, including tax evasion, means it’s difficult to estimate the true amount that it costs the economy.
“Coming down hard on waste criminals is a priority for this government, and for the Environment Agency,” he said.
He said that he wants to see speedier and tougher action on those who deliberately flout the law.
He said the “high risk” illegal sites is falling and reference the extra £5m this year that was awarded to tackle waste crime.
“We’re committed to using this funding to target efforts on illegal operation, illegal mis-description and illegal export.