Press release

UK meets 2010 Landfill Directive target and responds to landfill consultations

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

The UK will meet the 2010 Landfill Diversion Target to reduce biodegradable municipal waste to landfill.

The Government announced today that they will meet the 2010 Landfill Directive target and also published responses to two separate consultations on meeting EU Landfill Diversion Targets and on restrictions on the landfilling of certain wastes.

The latest data for England from the Environment Agency shows that combined with similar data from the devolved administrations, the UK will meet the 2010 Landfill Diversion Target to reduce biodegradable municipal waste to landfill. This is a key EU waste target with further targets to be met in 2013 and 2020.

Speaking while touring Green-Works’ warehouse in Wembley, a social enterprise dedicated to helping the environment by diverting redundant office furniture from landfill to be reused and recycled, Environment Minister Lord Henley said;

“It is pleasing to see that from the latest data the UK will meet the 2010 Landfill Directive target as it shows that people are beginning to realise that we can’t continue sending huge amounts of waste to landfill. As this Government strives to be the greenest government ever it will be important that this trend continues as we look to meet future targets.”

The Government has also today published responses on two landfill consultations that began under the previous Government last March and closed in June. The consultations were on meeting EU landfill diversion targets and on the introduction of restrictions on the landfilling of certain wastes.

The consultation on meeting EU landfill diversion targets was aimed at local authorities and the waste management industry and addresses the changes necessary to enable the UK to report to the European Commission on a revised approach to the landfill diversion targets.

For England only this consultation asked for views on the most effective combination of policies Defra should pursue, that address both the local authority and private sector elements of municipal waste, to provide the necessary confidence that England meets its targets. The responses gathered from this consultation will inform further work, including consideration of the future of Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme beyond 2013. Given this, local authorities may need to carefully consider whether they wish to enter into trading of Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) allowances after this time.

The Introduction of Restrictions on the Landfilling of Certain wastes, was a joint consultation with the Welsh Assembly Government, and was in response to the commitment of the previous Government to consult on whether further restrictions on the landfilling of biodegradable and recyclable wastes would make an effective contribution to meeting the twin objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resource efficiency.

The restrictions consultation sought comments on the case for introducing bans or restrictions on the landfilling of ; paper/card, food, textiles, metals, wood, green (garden) waste, glass, plastics, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), biodegradable wastes and non-segregated wastes. The consultation asked for views on the policy options of doing nothing, introducing landfill bans with or without a separate requirement to sort waste, introducing a sorting or tougher pre-treatment requirement but without a ban and further producer responsibility systems.

Responding to the previous Government’s consultation on landfill restrictions, Environment Minister Lord Henley said:

“This government is not minded to introduce further landfill restrictions in England at this stage, but will consider how best to make progress towards the objective of zero waste to landfill as part of the Review of Waste Policies, due to conclude in Spring 2011.”

Notes

The Governments response to the consultation on “Meeting EU Landfill Diversion Targets” can be viewed on the following link: webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20080305115859/http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/landfill-diversion/index.htm

Data for 2009 (calendar year) shows that England is landfilling considerably less waste than its 2010 target (approximately 14.6 million tonnes compared to the 2010 target of about 21.7 million tonnes). These figures are based on the revised interpretation of municipal waste, and resulting changes to the landfill diversion targets. This information is currently near final and thus subject to change. It should be considered provisional, but any change is not expected to materially affect the conclusions in regard to the Landfill Directive target. Data covering other parts of the UK is currently in production.

UK will report data for 2007 - 2009 to the European Commission shortly. This is based on the revised interpretation of municipal waste, incorporating elements of private sector commercial and industrial waste. Details of the revised interpretation and targets are included in the original consultation.

The Governments response to the consultation on “Introduction of Restrictions on the Landfilling of Certain Wastes” can be viewed on the following link: webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20080305115859/http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/landfill-restrictions/index.htm

To view the Welsh Assembly Government web page on the Introduction of Restrictions on the Landfilling of Certain Wastes please see following link; http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/environmentandcountryside/landfillrestrictions/?lang=en

For more information on Green-Works, please contact Blue Rocket PR: Jasmin Robertson / Jane Woodley, 01273 779 196 / 07835 878928, jasmin@bluerocketgroup.com