Several of the UK’s representative bodies for the waste and resource management sector, and local authorities, have called on the new Resource Minister, Rory Stewart MP, to address the stalled progress in improving resource management in England.
The letter highlights the key areas of the sector, which, if focused on by Defra, could improve resource management in England, and help boost the country’s waste and recycling performance, according to the groups.
The rate of increase in household waste recycling and composting in England has levelled off and it is not certain that the EU target of 50% by 2020 will be reached. The markets for recycled materials are currently very weak and prices are making a reduced contribution to the cost of collection and sorting. More needs to be done to prevent food waste and to recover it when it can’t be prevented.
A joint statement from the seven bodies (ADBA, CIWM, ESA, ICE, REA, Resource Association and the Waste Network Co-ordinators), known as the Trade Association Group (TAG), has asked for an early meeting with the Minister in order to “help turn this situation around”.
“We are writing to you now to welcome you to your new role as Minister in Defra responsible for resource management, and to seek an early meeting with you to discuss the future direction of policy in this important area”
“We would like to work with you to see what can and should be done to address these issues,” the letter states.
The groups also specify that investment in new waste treatment, recycling and reprocessing facilities and waste crime are also at the top of their discussion priorities.
The letter states: “Over the past few years our organisations have worked together to articulate a unified voice for the waste and resource management sector and this has proved effective – notably in working with your predecessor to secure additional funding for the Environment Agency to combat waste crime.
“We are writing to you now to welcome you to your new role as Minister in Defra responsible for resource management, and to seek an early meeting with you to discuss the future direction of policy in this important area.
“Waste is a valuable source of materials, energy and nutrients. The industry has grown strongly over recent years despite the adverse economic climate and has the potential to make a further important contribution to growth and job creation. However, we are concerned that progress in improving resource management in England has stalled and we would like to offer to work with you and your officials at Defra to help turn this situation around.”