Waste & Recycling Collections – are you ready?

The waste you must collect and how are you going to pay for those services?

Waste specialist and head of our Waste & Sustainability team, Kirstin Roberts FCIWM, catches you up on some recent developments.

Food Waste Collections: Firstly, the Government published the list of authorities that will receive grants to create food waste collection services: Food waste collection funding 2023 to 2024

Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and the Deposit Return Scheme: Next came the Government’s announcement about the Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024 and that they had been sent to the European Union (EU) in respect of Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework, and their labelling requirements were notified to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The announcement also highlighted changes to the draft Regulations including:

  • The addition of recycling targets for 2025-2030.
  • Introducing a provision which ensures that if a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has not been established by 01 January 2028, producers of drinks containers made of PET plastic, aluminium and steel will be subject to the full range of Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging (pEPR) obligations until a DRS is operational for this material. 
  • Amending the labelling provisions so that all labelling obligations will now come in to force on the 1 April 2027.
  • The removal of provisions on binned waste and litter payments which will now be delivered through a separate regulation.
  • The Scheme Administrator (SA) must now provide guidance on the methodology used and factors considered in assessing net efficient disposal costs and effectiveness.
  • Revising the household packaging definition to widen the criteria which allows packaging to become exempt from being classified as household packaging, and therefore exempt from disposal cost fees.  
    See here, LARAC’s response in relation to DRS Payments. Press Release: LARAC Reacts to New Condition for DRS Payments | LARAC

Simpler Recycling: Finally, in early May the Government published its Consultation outcome: Exemptions and statutory guidance for simpler recycling in England. As part of that publication, the Government confirmed that it intends to introduce the relevant regulations in 2024 and to proceed with the proposed exemptions:  

  • to allow for co-collection of the dry recyclable waste streams together in one bin or container
  • to allow for co-collection of food and garden waste together in one bin or container

Additionally, the Government is supporting more frequent and comprehensive bin collections. A minimum backstop means councils will be expected to collect black bin waste at least fortnightly, alongside weekly food waste collections. This will stop the trend – seen outside England – towards three-weekly or four-weekly bin collections. Councils are also being actively encouraged to make collections even more frequent, to prevent smelly waste from building up outside homes.

The Government also confirmed that it will publish the final statutory guidance after the regulations have been made.

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