low waste south west
oursouthwest > Low Waste South West
This page is now archived (October 2012) and is no longer updated
This web page, "low waste south west", describes the reason why waste is such a growing issue, an overarching strategy and related actions being taken to help move the South West of England towards a low waste future.
A strategy and related actions to help the South West of England move towards a low waste future are listed below under the following themes:
The South West Regional Observatory's website has a dedicated page on waste at www.swenvo.org.uk/themes/waste/ that usefully provides comprehensive information and data on the management of waste, waste trends including waste arising/recycling rates & local authority recycling performance against targets in the South West as well as other related information.
The South West, like other areas of England, is facing a mounting waste problem: we cannot continue to create and dispose of our waste as we have done so in the past. We are running out of landfill space and sending waste to landfill is no longer the best or safest way for dealing with waste.
The growing number of people who live in and visit the South West region, means more and more waste has to be dealt with. We all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of waste we create in our homes and at work, whilst recycling as much as possible of the unavoidable waste we create.
Avoidable waste is avoidable pollution (to air, land and water) and depletes natural resources that existing and future generations will need to use on a renewable basis.
The cost of waste is not just the cost of getting rid of it but also the value of what you are disposing of (raw materials, manufacturing & processing time, energy, transportation etc).
With all waste, someone somewhere pays for it!
1. Strategy and National Context
If we in the the South West of England are to help the UK meet national and EU targets for reducing waste going to landfill, raise the recycling and reuse rates for waste produced and recover more value from waste, then the 'waste hierarchy' is the overarching strategy we as individuals, and the organisations we represent, need to adopt. This means:
Only as a last resort should we dispose of the left over waste and then we should:
The national context
Plans for a zero waste economy. The Coalition Government carried out a fundamental review of waste policy and waste management delivery in England during 2010 with the aim of meeting the Coalition Agreement commitment to "work towards a zero waste economy and encourage councils to pay people to recycle and reduce littering" and "measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion".
The results of the review were published on 14 June 2011. The Government's waste review set out the following priorities:
Driving innovation in the £11 billion waste and recycling sector, which employs up to 150,000 people, is expected by the Government to push growth by 3 to 4 percent over the next few years.
Waste going to landfill has nearly halved by 2011 since 2000, with household recycling rates now at 40 per cent and business rates at more than 50 per cent. The Government will publish a follow-up zero-waste action plan on waste prevention in December 2013, to check progress and address further developments under any new EU regulations.
The Anaerobic Digestion strategy and action plan was also published on 14 June 2011. It seeks to enable a thriving industry to grow in England over the next few years, delivering new green jobs as well as new green energy.
The previous Waste Strategy for England 2007, published by the Labour Government in May 2007 included future recycling targets:-
The UK is also committed to reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled, in accordance with European Directives.
Local Authority Collected Waste Statistics for England are published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on a regular basis. These show the proposrtion of household waste sent for recycling, composting or reuse and the amount of waste produced per household and per person. These links (to Defra's website) give access to this data:
* Note. Local authority collected waste is that which comes under the possession or control of the Local Authority and includes household waste and other wastes collected by a waste collection authority or its agents, such as municipal parks and gardens waste, beach cleansing waste, commercial or industrial waste, and waste resulting from the clearance of fly-tipped materials.
PPS10 Planning for Sustainable Waste Management (July 2005) replaced Planning Policy Guidance Note 10 (Planning and Waste Management) published in 1999 and forms part of the national waste management plan for the UK. The key planning objectives under PPS 10 for sustainable waste management include:
The latest version of PPS10 can be found on the website of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) at this link: Planning Policy Statement 10: Planning for Sustainable Waste Management.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.
2. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS)
Launched in April 2005, the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) is intended to provide a cost effective way of enabling England to meet its targets for reducing the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste under Article 5(2) of the EC Landfill Directive (75% of that produced in 1995 by 2010, then to 50% by 2013 and finally 35% by 2020).
The Waste and Emissions Trading Act (2003) provides the legal framework for the scheme and for the allocation of tradable landfill allowances to each waste disposal authority (i.e. local authorities) in England. These allowances will convey the right for a waste disposal authority to landfill a certain amount of biodegradable municipal waste in a specified scheme year.
Each waste disposal authority will be able to determine how to use its allocation of allowances in the most effective way. It will be able to trade allowances with other authorities, save (bank) them for future years or use some of its future allowances in advance (borrow). This will allow individual waste disposal authorities to use their allowances in accordance with their investment strategy.
The Environment Agency reports on the LATS scheme in each unitary and waste disposal authority in England each year by November, after trading ends on 30 September. For information on LATS and their latest report, click here: EA - LATS.
3. Waste Minimisation in Business & the Public Sector
South West Energy & Environmental Management Groups
Waste Information from the EA - help, information and best practice advice from the Environment Agency to help ensure business complies with the latest waste regulations.
Food - Love Food Hate Waste - WRAP's programme to help reduce the nation's food waste (we throw away a third of the food we buy and most goes to landfill).
Future Foundations - the sustainable construction charter for the South West supporting low waste construction methods.
"From my travels around the world I have seen how much damage and pollution is done by the careless disposal of
waste. It is also evident that we in the West produce far more and throw away far more than the developing world, almost without thinking"
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