11 September 2017 by Steve Eminton

Policies and positivity for LARAC 2017

Staying positive in the face of a range of challenges for local authorities is one of the key messages that is expected to influence this year’s discussions at the annual LARAC Conference and Celebration Awards, at Nottingham next month.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee event – which is taking place from 11-12 October 2017 – brings together council officers as well as the wider waste and recycling industry to debate important developments affecting councils.

The venue is the East Midlands Conference Centre within the grounds of Nottingham University.

More than 250 local authority recycling officers are expected to attend, providing delegates with the opportunity to share and network with local government contacts. And, places at the event, which is organised by letsrecycle.com parent company the Environment Media Group, are also available to waste management companies, recycling businesses and others with connection to the sector.

In a statement about the event, the organisers said that this year’s conference “will provide ideas and encouragement as how best to move forward against a continuously challenging background. The LARAC Conference 2017 aims to offer inspiration with messages of global and local positivity and examples of successful programmes and policies.”

Recycling rates

Questions on the agenda for 2017 include: Will EU environmental regulations continue to apply in light of Brexit? What could extended producer responsibility mean for councils? What can be done to revive the UK’s flat-lining recycling rates?

For local authorities working hard to keep waste and recycling collection services running efficiently and effectively in the face of spending pressures, the conference programme aims to offer solutions and suggestions relevant to the future of service delivery from the customer to depot to office.

Six awards will be presented at this year’s event for the best initiatives undertaken by local authorities over the past year. Categories include ‘Best Team of the Year’ and ‘Best Waste Minimisation or Prevention Project’.

The annual conference includes the popular LARAC Celebration Awards: pictured – winners of the 2016 Awards

The event will start with a welcome address from Andrew Bird, chair of LARAC, and a keynote address from Mark Shayler, CEO of APE.

Policy update

Other topics to be covered on day one of the conference include a policy update from DEFRA’s head of household waste and recycling; and, three-weekly refuse collections.

Session three will take the form of a live debate titled ‘Beyond Austerity – New Ways of Funding Services’, chaired by NAWDO’s Claire Brailsford, with panelists Duncan Simpson, director of Valpak, and Simon Bussell, development director of Veolia.

The agenda for day two features seminars and workshops on charging for food waste; maximising recycling through residual waste restrictions; and engaging multi-occupancy properties, amongst others. There will also be a session after lunch dedicated to consistency.



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