The announcement, by Colin Church, director for resource & waste at Defra, was made late on Friday (17 Jan) over the social media network Twitter in response to a question over the guidance.
Church replied: “We don’t plan to publish further Government guidance on TEEP in England.”
CIWM Journal Online today (21 Jan) received the following statement from Defra: “Local Authorities should be aware of the requirements relating to collection of dry recycling material. We do not believe there is a need to issue further guidance.”
The decision goes back on a pledge made by former Resources Minister Lord de Mauley at the CIWM conference in June that the government intended to clarify when it was “technically, environmentally and economically practicable” (TEEP) to require separate collections.
Defra – “Local Authorities should be aware of the requirements relating to collection of dry recycling material. We do not believe there is a need to issue further guidance”
In response, Resource Association’s Ray Georgeson said: “Even in the era of social media, a Twitter announcement on a Friday night might strike many as an odd way to make such an important policy statement! However, the rumours had been circulating and I am sorry to see them confirmed.
“Given the amount of time and effort we know Defra officials had put into developing a draft TEEP guidance document and the expectation generated especially within local government, I think the onus has to be on Defra to say a little more about why this is not being released than can be covered in 140 characters.”
CIWM chief executive Steve Lee said: “With less than a year to go before the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive for the separate collection of recycled materials come into force, CIWM is very concerned that our industry is being left in confusion about TEEP,” says CIWM chief executive Steve Lee.
“We have important terms in the Waste Framework Directive that have not been adequately defined as part of the transposition into national legislation. We have government departments issuing seemingly conflicting views – in the form of Lord de Mauley’s letter last Autumn and DCLG’s recent ‘Bin Bible’ – about what the outcome of the judicial review means for local authority collections in England and Wales. And we have the possibility that other UK countries will produce TEEP guidance while English councils remain in the dark.
Barry Dennis, ESA – “Defra’s decision not to provide local authorities with further guidance on TEEP is regrettable, as it leaves local authorities to grapple with the issue on their own”
“CIWM will be calling for a more responsible approach from Defra and will be working to ensure that councils are supported with adequate guidance on this important issue.”
Barry Dennis, director general of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), commented: “Defra’s decision not to provide local authorities with further guidance on TEEP is regrettable, as it leaves local authorities to grapple with the issue on their own and may add to the uncertainties they face in renewing waste collection contracts in the coming months.”
Andrew Bird, LARAC chair said: “It is disappointing Defra will not be issuing guidance for TEEP to local authorities, but not surprising, and at least they have now confirmed their position. As LARAC, we now need to work with our industry partners to offer help and support to our local authority members in producing advice which is consistent and informative.”