Press release

New waste deal will cut business costs and improve services

Helping businesses prevent waste and recycle more of the waste they do produce.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Family-run restaurants and independent shops will be able to save money and access better recycling under a new deal between Government and the waste industry, Environment Minister Lord Henley announced today.

Under the Responsibility Deal, a key commitment in the recently-published Waste Review, the Government will work with the Environmental Services Association (ESA) to help businesses prevent waste and recycle more of the waste they do produce.

Businesses across the UK have the potential to save up to £18 billion a year by taking steps to reduce waste that will cost them either nothing or very little in the short term.

The Responsibility Deal will make it easier for businesses to do the right thing and save money, such as by improving recycling services for small and medium businesses and giving them better information on what they can do to prevent and deal with waste.

Lord Henley said:

“This is a groundbreaking deal that will help to boost growth in the green economy. Businesses will benefit from more user-friendly waste management services and better advice on how to deal with their waste, while the Government will be looking for ways to recognise good performance by waste management companies and in particular to cut red tape for those who are doing the right thing.”

ESA Chairman Ian Goodfellow said:

“The waste and resource management sector is a vibrant industry with a great future. We are investing several billions of pounds to recycle and recover value from more of England’s waste. We believe we can provide solutions to many of the challenges set out in the Waste Review, and this Responsibility Deal shows how we are committed to working with our customers and with communities to do just that. And we welcome the Government’s commitment to play its part through the Responsibility Deal, for example by ensuring the public sector buys recycled products and  by encouraging local authorities to put in place infrastructure more quickly.”

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“This Responsibility Deal with the waste management industry is very welcome. It is a good example of the way alternatives to regulation can work to achieve better waste management and recycling services for SMEs, and encourage better sorting of recyclable material to help the recycling industry.”

The Government and the Environmental Services Association will work with the Federation of Small Businesses, other business trade bodies and chambers of commerce, and local government organisations to reduce the 165 million tonnes of waste produced each year and to turn waste into a resource. The ESA and FSB will also work together to develop and promote best practice on making contracts more user-friendly.

The deal will also promote consistent and proportionate enforcement by the Environment Agency, reduce red tape and other burdens on good performers, and maintain a level-playing field between public and private waste contractors.


Details of the Responsibility Deal can be found at

The Responsibility Deal meets a commitment announced in the Government’s Review of Waste Policy published on 15 June:

Research published by Defra in March 2011 suggests that businesses could save around £18 billion by reducing waste and diverting it from landfill is available at

The Responsibility Deal has been developed jointly by Defra and the Environmental Services Association who represent the waste and resource management sector. It reflects input from the Local Government Association, the Environment Agency and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Published 23 June 2011