7 May 2021 by Joshua Doherty

Defra issues consistency consultation

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has this morning (7 May) released its delayed consultation on consistent collections in England.

In the document, Defra confirms the proposal of free garden waste collections, a preference for more frequent than fortnightly collections in urban areas and weekly food waste collections for all.

The consultation on consistency in household and business recycling in England was released today (7 May)

Councils will have to provide every household and business with a plastic, paper and card, glass, metal and food waste collection service.

Defra says this will “end the confusion for millions of homes and businesses having different collections in different areas, helping households recycle more and send less waste to landfill”.

Ministers are also considering free garden waste collections for every home, which they say could save householders more than £100 million a year in green waste charges.

Currently, councils have discretion on whether to provide the service, which is usually charged for on top of council tax.

If they go ahead, the proposals will be rolled out “by the date that packaging Extended Producer Responsibility is implemented”, which will begin in a “phased roll-out” from October 2023.

Frequency

Defra said plans being considered include the introduction of statutory guidance on new “minimum service standards for rubbish and recycling collections”, subject to an assessment of affordability and value for money.

Consistent collections consultation

Environment secretary George Eustice said householders “want more frequent recycling collections”

This could recommend a minimum service standard of residual waste at least once a fortnight alongside the weekly collection of organic waste.

Councils would “continue to be supported” when collecting more frequently than the minimum standard, which, said the department, “is especially important in urban areas, with less space to place bins and homes that have small or no gardens”.

Recycling boost

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “Householders want more frequent recycling collections. Regular food and garden waste collections will ensure that they can get rid of their rubbish faster, at no additional cost to them.

“Our proposals will boost recycling rates, and ensure that less rubbish is condemned to landfill.”

Funding

Defra says the additional cost of provided these services will not be footed by the taxpayer, and will instead be paid for through “reform of the packaging sector”.

Consistent collections consultation

Every household and business will receive a food waste collection under the proposals

Defra says this will see firms covering the full net cost of managing their products.

The consultation on extended producer responsibility was released in March (see letsrecycle.com story)

“This means council taxpayers will not have to foot the bill, and in turn will be able to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging that is thrown away,” Defra explained.

Support

The Defra statement added that the proposals “build on steps that the government has taken to support families’ bin collections”.

“These proposals build on steps that the government has taken to support families’ bin collections”

Defra

“Since 2010, ministers have scrapped previous plans for new bin taxes on family homes; stopped unfair bin fines for petty or minor breaches of complex bin rules; supported rewards for recycling; and banned charges for responsibly disposing of household rubbish at local dumps,” Defra stated.

Defra added the measures will help ensure that the government meets its ambition laid out in the Resources and Waste Strategy of recycling at least 65% of municipal waste by 2035, with a maximum of 10% being landfilled. Ministers are also committed to eliminating all “avoidable waste” by 2050.

Useful links
Consistency in household and business recycling in England

The consultation runs until Sunday, 4 July, exactly one month after the EPR consultation.

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