Lord de Mauley wrote to council’s in hopes of clarifying the amended waste regulations that will come into force in 2015 and what it means for recycling collections.
He wrote: “It appears that some local authorities may be taking the view that commingled collections of paper, glass, plastic and metal waste streams will remain permissible in all circumstances after 1st January 2015. I therefore thought it would be helpful now to remind local authorities of the effect of the Regulations.”
In response, the LGA has branded the letter an “unhelpful contribution to the debate and will only cause confusion amongst councils and the industry in their interpretation of the legal framework.”
LGA – “Article 10 of the Directive clearly states that ‘waste shall be collected separately if technically, environmentally and economically practicable and shall not be mixed with other waste or other materials with different properties’”
The LGA said that the outcome of the recent Judicial Review (JR) demonstrated that the most sensible approach is to rely directly on the words of the Waste Framework Directive itself and that attempts to “add commentary, views or gloss” will only serve to increase confusion.
LGA writes: “Article 10 of the Directive clearly states that ‘waste shall be collected separately if technically, environmentally and economically practicable and shall not be mixed with other waste or other materials with different properties’.
“Lord de Mauley’s letter of course does not have the weight of statutory guidance. Recent case law has shown that statements by Ministers articulating views on policy have no force in the Court’s interpretation of the law.
“It is therefore crucial that councils understand that the letter records simply the opinion of the Minister, and that it would be legally unsafe to allow it to guide Local Authority decisions in any way. The most useful advice in the letter is that Local Authorities should take their own legal advice, and make decisions in accordance with that advice locally.”
For the full letter CLICK HERE