Monday, 18 March 2013

Does the waste hierarchy need to be enforced?



Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, all businesses and local authorities that produce or handle waste are required to apply the waste hierarchy, i.e. five steps for dealing with waste, ranked according to what is best for the environment.

Prevention, which offers the best outcomes for the environment, is at the top of the priority order, followed by preparing for re-use, recycling, other recovery and disposal, in descending order of environmental preference.

This is now a legal duty (http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13530-waste-hierarchy-guidance.pdf) - one that we have to declare our compliance with in duty of care documentation. But what does this mean in practice?

In his post Dominic Hogg argues that, if applied properly, this duty is pretty significant. For example, it should more than adequately replace the old recycling targets as a driver of local authority recycling performance. But in practice, the new duty has resulted in little change, and in the absence of enforcement seems unlikely to do so.

Dominic Hogg’s post: http://www.isonomia.co.uk/?p=1547

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