The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has welcomed the Environment Agency (EA) approach to enforcing the Waste Regulations requirements for separate collections on local authorities and private waste companies.
LARAC announced that it believes the approach is not only “sensible” but also the “most realistic” given the nature of local authority operations and contracts.
LARAC also said that it views the positive comments from the EA on the Routemap that the local authority family recently produced as a “vindication of the decision to step in and provide assistance where Government guidance was lacking.”
Andrew Bird, chair LARAC, said: “The manner in which the EA has outlined it will undertake enforcement is sensible and right for the regulations and what they are intended to receive.
“Taking a risk based approach is part of modern day regulatory work and right for these situations.
Andrew Bird, chair LARAC – “The manner in which the EA has outlined it will undertake enforcement is sensible and right for the regulations and what they are intended to receive”
“We have been really pleased with the dialogue we have had with the EA and LARAC will continue to work with them to ensure that local authorities rise to the challenge of meeting these requirements”
LARAC says that the delay in the final requirements of the regulations due to the Judicial Review has not helped the overall situation and has restricted the time local authorities have had to prepare.
It has urged the industry to get behind local authorities and private waste companies as they assess and in some cases, change their collection systems to ensure compliance with the regulations.
It also says that any further talk of legal action against local authorities is unhelpful and not needed and the EA should be left to undertake any action that may be required.
In April this year a Waste Regulations Routemap was unveiled to support local authorities in assessing their compliance with waste regulations.
The Routemap aims to help local authorities navigate their obligations from January 2015 and has been developed as a resource for local government.
The Routemap was unveiled by a working group comprising members of local authority waste networks (coordinated through the Waste Network Chairs), the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and WRAP.
The Route Map provides important information on the regulations relevant to separate collections of recyclable waste.
The document is not guidance, according to the working group, but instead addresses the key questions that local authorities will need to consider when considering whether or not their service meets these requirements and, where necessary, in assessing TEEP (Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable).
The Routemap has been published in response to Defra announcing that it would not issue further guidance.
The Routemap was funded by LWARB and the waste networks and the preparation was assisted by Eunomia Research and Consulting Ltd. As part of its development the Routemap was peer reviewed by 20 English local authorities.