LARAC (The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) blames government “inertia” on the increase in biodegradable waste sent to landfill.
Last week, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released the UK’s statistics on waste from 2021. They showed that biodegradable waste sent to landfill increased to 6.8 million tonnes in 2021 from 6.1 million tonnes in 2020.
Responding to the statistics, LARAC said Defra will be “unlikely” to achieve its target of the near elimination of biodegradable waste disposal in landfills from 2028 because of recent “inertia” in government.
LARAC says it thinks the increase in biodegradable waste in landfills should create “urgency” in government policymaking and funding of alternative measures. However, it says that local authorities need support to get services in place to prevent biodegradable waste from ending up in landfill.
The delay in information about consistent collections is impeding progress in diverting biodegradable waste.
Saying the recycling rates across UK nations are “stagnating”, LARAC says waste minimisation levers should have been included in the Waste and Resources Strategy and subsequent policies, especially in England. LARAC says this removes the “impetus” for local authorities to prioritise the reduction of waste in services for residents.
Cathy Cook, LARAC chair, commented: “The delay in information about consistent collections is impeding progress in diverting biodegradable waste, specifically food waste collections for England, and the absence of new burdens funding means that around half of England’s local authorities don’t have any other option where landfill is their current disposal route.
“A delay in consistency also means that there is a delay in moving forwards with services to collect additional dry recycling materials as well.”