Council makes recycling compulsory
Residents in a London borough are the first in the UK to face a £1,000 fine if they fail to recycle household waste. Barnet council has agreed to extend its 2004 pilot scheme of 21,000 homes, which made household recycling compulsory, to cover all 113,000 households in the Conservative-controlled borough from March 2005. Residents are expected to place glass bottles, jars, tins, cans, paper and magazines in their free household recycling boxes. Council recycling assistants will monitor if the boxes are being used appropriately. Barnet, whose current recycling rate is 25%, is using the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as a legal basis. Its first court action, which it views as a last resort, could be on the way against a household which has failed to recycle despite having free recycling bins for 14 months. For more see
http://society.guardian.co.uk/localgovt/news/0,8368,1384489,00.html and www.letsrecycle.com/legislation/news.jsp?story=4686
Government Association wants greener communities
The LGA, which links local councils across England, has produced a 'campaign kit' on greening communities. It has introductory materials on: climate / energy, waste, air, water, soil, biodiversity and public spaces. It encourages all councils to produce an action plan, using Manchester's simple '10 point plan' as a model, and suggests staff become 'Environment Champions'. There's no shortage of ideas, even if some may need quite a lot of support to implement, and there are pointers to organisations and resources. More information at www.lga.giv.uk/greeningcommunities
oil law not being enforced
New regulations to control disposal of used cooking oils are not being enforced by local authorities, according to a survey by catering equipment manufacturer Aga Foodservice. Caterersearch reports that the group found only 14% (or four) of 27 borough, city and district councils questioned had a clear understanding of the rules that came into effect in October 2004. Three councils said they had never heard of the regulations, which require caterers to pay authorised collectors to take away used oils, and six others admitted they were doing nothing to enforce them. Aga claims many small restaurants and snack bars are still pouring used oils down the drain, creating costly blockages. http://tinyurl.com/da6kx
Environmental Information Regulations
(and Freedom of Information Act)
It may be useful to know that the new Environmental Information Regulations (this text being written Feb 2005) oblige public authorities and companies working for them to disclose information about the impact of their activities on the environment. Phil Michaels, Head of Legal Affairs for Friends of the Earth (FoE), speaking on You And Yours, BBC Radio 4, Friday 18 Feb 2005: "it is similar to Freedom of Information Act. There are two main differences under the Environmental Information Regulations..." :
1 You can ask for environmental information orally (unlike the Freedom of Information Act which requires written requests)
2 It applies to a wider category of authorities: you now have access to info held by authorities such as utility and water companies (The Freedom of Information Act only applies to 'classic' public authorities such as government departments and local authorities)
Whether information is classed as coming under the Environmental Information Regulations, or the Freedom of Information Act, is a matter of fact in law and the local authority receiving your request must decide accordingly in processing it. You only need to worry about finding out which is relevant to your request if you are refused the
information." Quoting the Environmental Regulations (and possibly the Information Act) should help stop people being blocked from gaining access to
Phil Michaels points out one possible shortfall: " if information isn't held or hasn't been recorded by the local authority or public body it's more difficult to get. You can get access to info held by an authority if it is recorded in some form. But if the information doesn't yet exist or has never been recorded because it is simply the subject of discussions then it is more difficult to get hold of. This [is] a fundamental limit of the new Regulations and Act." However, some may apply the argument that there is a fundamental public interest and a human right to know certain types of information (such as what you're being exposed to if a farmer is spraying a field with chemicals), and if a private individual is holding the information such a right should prompt the public body to obtain the information to pass it on.
Fuelled by a new energy
Four London boroughs - Brent, Merton, Barking and Dagenham and Southwark - have taken up the mayor's challenge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In a scheme announced last month, four Energy Action Areas (EAAs) will pilot renewable energy and expect to make carbon savings of 40-60%. If they are judged successful, the models will be rolled out across the whole of London.
To find out more on this story, visit http://society.guardian.co.uk
District, unitary and county councils have statutory responsibility for most matters associated with solid waste management, and aspects of air and water pollution. Some councils have also voluntarily adopted a wider role and are involved in activities not prescribed by statute. The local council is therefore a useful first point of reference for free advice on waste matters.
Most authorities have for some years been increasing the number of grouped collection banks they provide in public places for: newspapers and magazines; steel and aluminium cans; colour segregated glass containers (it can be disturbing to find in some areas the retrograde step of containers for unseparated glass); and increasingly, plastic containers and cardboard. Sites may also include banks for clothing and textiles; books; or aluminium foil, usually provided and serviced by independent charitable organisations. To find what banks are in your area, look at www.recycle-more.com (list of materials taken may not be accurate).
In 1990 the government White Paper on the Environment This Common Inheritance set a target of recycling 25 per cent of household waste by the year 2000. This was followed by a number of measures intended to assist in meeting this target, notably a requirement in the Environmental Protection Act for district and unitary council waste collection authorities to produce waste recycling plans. As a result most authorities appointed Recycling Officers and began providing collection arrangements for selected materials, but since the 25 per cent target was not mandatory, progress was less than spectacular, and most authorities failed to meet it.
The Household Waste Recycling Act 2003 makes it compulsory for councils to collect at least two kinds of recyclable material door to door (for its aims and targets see www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/legislation/hwra ). Since its introduction, increasing numbers of councils are at last passing the 2000 target. THE WASTEBOOK would urge those people living in local authorities providing poor recycling facilities to discuss with relevant decision makers how they could aspire to the achievements of the best performing authorities, particularly by increasing the number of materials collected door to door. There is currently a strong push by government, accompanied by substantial funding since 2002, to improve the UK's poor recycling record compared with much of Europe.
If they had not done so before, since the Household Waste Recycling Act, councils (or private firms or community organisations on the council's behalf) have begun door to door (kerbside) collection of selected dry recyclables - the more materials taken and separated at the doorstep, the greater the success. Promotion schemes for domestic composting are now common: many councils offer cheap or even free compost bins, and many are rolling out kerbside collection of garden waste (see section 11, Green waste). With the EU requirement to take out the organic component of what is landfilled, kerbside collection of kitchen waste will be coming to most homes in the UK over the next few years. Each county will need composting facilities - several methods are available (see section 12, Food waste). Up to 90 per cent of the contents of a domestic bin - and this is also true for business waste - is reusable or recyclable, but UK councils have some way to go to reach such a figure. For the 'residuals' - the amount remaining - local authorities, if they have not done so already, will need to establish 'material reclamation facilities' (MRFs) for sorting mixed waste into recyclable fractions.
amenity sites and commercial waste
Civic Amenity Sites were first provided as a separate facility from landfill sites, to allow the public free and more convenient disposal of bulky domestic waste. In recent years there has been an increasing degree of waste segregation, with promotion of recycling. These sites are operated, sometimes by a private firm or the community sector, on behalf of county or unitary district waste disposal authorities, and are often called Household Waste Recycling Centres. They are designed for use by householders, but many authorities are beginning to allow small businesses to use their recycling facilities at a charge. This is welcome - but there is still a loophole that needs to be resolved, which can cause resentment and may encourage fly-tipping: many small businesses operate from home, yet if the householder arrives with household waste in their only vehicle, a van, their waste is treated as commercial.
There is much potential to reuse and recycle other materials, such as restoring furniture, reclaimed wood, and a variety of things thrown out by industry. Resource and energy efficiency is a fundamental theme, and should be considered more both by commerce and local authorities, often in partnership. There are opportunities to encourage joined up thinking between demolition, re-use of construction materials, and architectural salvage. A local authority can create a thriving link between businesses, community, schools and other bodies by helping to start up and support a local scrapstore (see section 140), which would welcome a wide range of useful materials that would otherwise end in landfill or be incinerated. For instance, creative uses can now be found for CDs.
Increasingly, with the realisation that raw materials and fossil fuel energy sources are finite, and that something must be left for future generations, it has become obvious that the era of planned obsolescence must come to an end. To achieve true sustainability in waste management, waste must be seen as a resource, and processes assessed from cradle to grave. Increasingly it is being seen as vital that durability and recyclability are built into industrial processes.
The government has produced guidance which includes a Waste Hierarchy, at the top of which is Waste Minimisation, which includes repair and reuse of materials. This is seen as an even higher priority than Recovery of materials for Recycling, which generally involves transportation and uses more energy. It is important that there is a greater interactivity and partnership arrangements between local authorities and businesses in their area to reduce all waste generated. One way is to form relationships through a sustainable procurement policy, and set standards for waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
The Recycled Products Guide www.recycledproducts.org.uk (maintained by WRAP, see section 200) is an easily searchable directory of thousands of recycled or sustainably produced products. Particular opportunities exist for waste minimisation and greater efficiency in waste management within industrial estates, where ownership and management structures already exist. Waste reduction must, of course, start with the local council itself. Many local authorities have been appointing Waste Minimisation Officers to initiate and oversee the process.
For details of your nearest civic amenity site (or household waste recycling centre) and details of all the recycling services in your area (these schemes are enlarging all the time) contact your local recycling officer. For an overview of public recycling facilities for householders, see www.recyclemore.co.uk or www.capitalwastefacts.com - more details just below.
WasteConnect 01686 640600 - provides a database of every
recycling facility for householders in the country. Just enter the type of material you wish to
recycle and your postcode to find your nearest recycling point. Includes recycling tips and
WASTE PREVENTION TIPS FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES
25 Ideas For Local Authorities is a free downloadable report at www.wen.org.uk/waste/resources.htm
Alphabetical list of organisations
capitalwastefacts (London Remade Ltd)
Tel 0207 665 1536 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Website www.capitalwastefacts.com www.londonremade.com
1 Hobhouse Court, Suffolk Street, LONDON SW1Y 4HH
London Remade is a partnership of business, London Boroughs, regional government, waste industry and not for profit sector. Aims to "revolutionise the way the Capital manages its waste through a programme designed to develop and diversify markets for recycled materials." In May 2002, with GLA, launched www.capitalwastefacts.com to help local authorities meet recycling targets. Map of London shows all London's waste authorities and many facts about municipal waste. Also info on the Mayor's Green Procurement Code. Greater London has a network of 39 civic amenity sites operated by London waste authorities and over 2,500 recycling sites.
To find your nearest 'bring bank' recycling site anywhere in the UK by postcode or place name, and local authority kerbside collections (although not by street) go to www.recyclemore.co.uk - see listing below. This site is a one-stop recycling information centre, offering help and advice on all aspects of recycling at home, at school and in the workplace.
London Remade aims to stimulate demand for recycled products, and its website lists information about recycled products. Also offers brokerage service and environmental policy development support to organisations signing up to the Mayor's Green Procurement Code. For more on London Remade see Support Services. (Updated Aug 2005)
Employers Organisation for Local Government see Local Government Management Board
I&DEA (Improvement & Development Agency) see Local Government Management Board
LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) www.larac.org.uk is the national local authority organisation promoting waste reduction and recycling, and helped to develop the national Buy Recycled campaign. For general information on the reason for the Buy Recycled campaign (section 300), see www.larac.org.uk/buy.htm
Its four main objectives are:
- to exchange information on waste reduction and recycling throughout local government and with other organisations;
- to provide expert responses to national, European and private sector initiatives and enquiries;
- to assist others with technical information and advice to promote best practice in waste management;
- to produce training and education materials and publications on waste reduction and recycling.
The website lists contacts who can help with various different types of enquiry, lists policy responses, and hosts news, events and discussions.
This website lists contact details for local authority recycling officers throughout the British Isles. Also a source of current news on recycling.
Local Government Association (LGA)
Tel 020 7664 3131
Website www.lga.gov.uk Email email@example.com
Local Government House, Smith Square, LONDON SW1P 3HZ
The voluntary lobbying organisation representing a national voice for local authorities, formed 1997. Mission: to promote better local government. Works with and for member authorities to realise a shared vision of enabling local people to shape a distinctive and better future for their communities. Aims to put local councils at the heart of the drive to improve public services. Councils do not have to join, but nearly all local authorities in England and Wales are members - a total of nearly 500 authorities comprising:
The local authorities represent more than 50 million people and spend £65 billion a year on local services. The LGA also represents police authorities, through the Association of Police Authorities (APA); fire authorities; passenger transport authorities; and Association of National Park Authorities. (Updated June 2004)
Local Government Management Board
Tel 0207 296 6600
Fax 0207 296 6750 (Employers Organisation for Local Government)
Fax 0207 296 6666 (I&DEA)
Website www.lgmb.gov.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill Street, LONDON EC1M 5LG
National management and training body advising local authorities throughout Britain. Now split into the Employers Organisation for Local Government www.lg-employers.gov.uk set up to help councils achieve high standards of people management and development to ensure continuous improvement of services; and I&DEA (Improvement & Development Agency) www.idea.gov.uk set up in 1999 to provide practical solutions and support public services in self-sustaining improvement from within local government. These bodies, in partnership with the Local Government Association, continue the work of LGMB, which produced many publications, including the key work Environmental Practice in Local Government, and organised training courses, conferences and seminars. It played a leading role in the Agenda 21 process, begun at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, publishing guidance, consulting to develop indicators for progress, networking and co-ordinating information. It helped to set up and advise working groups to help local authorities involve and empower the community in decision making and practical projects, often in areas such as waste management and energy. Set up Local Agenda 21 Case Study Project in partnership with local authority associations, Community Development Foundation, Environment Council, WWF, United Nations Association and DOETR. Many case studies available. (Updated June 2004)
RECAP (Recycling in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough)
Information for waste reduction and recycling in the region, 'co-mingling' serious information with amusing style. Includes kerbside collections, recycling banks and household waste recycling centres. A lot of rubbish information! - how you can recycle, reduce and compost. Events, latest and archive news and FAQs. Each tab along the top provides sub-sections by using the mouse to click on headings on left. Links include: postcode-based site locator http://uk2.multimap.com/clients/places.cgi?client=valpak; and the simple, slick http://swapandsell.recap.co.uk materials exchange (see also section 120), for literally anything from a greenhouse to a £3000 mobile disco (was £6000) or a £100 PC. Documents include local waste strategy. We like talking rubbish! We want to hear rubbish things you have to say! There are rubbish things going on you may not know about. (Updated Nov 2004)
Tel 08450 682 572 Fax 08450 682 532
Website www.recyclemore.co.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org
recycle-more, Valpak Ltd, Stratford Business Park, Banbury Road, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON CV37 7GW
allowing you to
find your nearest 'bring bank' recycling site anywhere in the UK by postcode or
place name, and local authority kerbside collections (although not by street).
The site is a one-stop recycling information centre, offering help and advice on all aspects of recycling at home, at school and in the workplace.
Simple steps to help businesses carry out a waste audit; basic advice on
recycling by material / sector; packaging; waste minimisation; systems and
standards (EMS, EMAS, ISO). Also lists legislation and national waste
strategies. (Updated Aug
Resource for individuals and organisations including local authorities, community groups and retailers involved in promoting waste awareness to the general public. Artwork, photo library, communications toolkit, advice and guidance. Case studies and recycling statistics for 2003 on site. Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team (ROTATE) is a technical advisory service for English local authorities, providing support and advice on separate collection of dry recyclables and organic wastes. Contact: Alison Day, ROTATE Co-ordinator, WRAP, The Old Academy, 21 Horse Fair, Banbury, OX16 0AH, Tel 01295 819661, Fax 01295 819911. The campaign builds on previous national and regional waste awareness and recycling initiatives, such as Rethink Rubbish. (Updated Feb 2005)
Slim Your Bin
Tel 08456 072 072 Website www.slimyourbin.org.uk
Campaign encouraging all of us to reduce waste by shopping smart, and supporting local kerbside schemes, recycling banks and household waste recycling sites. Includes a roadshow travelling between towns, to encourage everybody to cut down the amounts of waste they produce, by simple steps. Why, what, where and how to recycle. Site also has recycling games, via link to schools section of www.recycle-more.co.uk (see 630 Specialist directories). Partnership between councils in the Anglia Region, supported by Anglia Television (including Anglia Action initiative), www.recycle-more.co.uk and Viridor Waste management. (Updated Nov 2004)
Some County Councils covered by
THE WASTEBOOK (others to be added)
Bedford MK42 9AP
Tel 01234 228704
Hertford SG12 8DF
Tel 01992 555200
Tel 01296 382401
Oxfordshire County Council
Essex County Council
District Councils covered by
THE WASTEBOOK'S core area
(This list is based on the counties above. Our remit is now much wider than this: we aim in
the short term to provide information on services throughout the south-east ranging from
Hants to Norfolk, and the list will be developed in the near future)
Aylesbury Vale District Council
Basildon District Council
Bedford Borough Council
Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Brentwood Borough Council
Broxbourne Borough Council
Braintree District Council
Brentwood Borough Council
Broxbourne Borough Council
Castle Point Borough Council
Cherwell District Council
Chiltern District Council
Colchester Borough Council
Dacorum Borough Council
East Hertfordshire District Council
Epping Forest District Council
Harlow District Council
Hertsmere Borough Council
Luton Borough Council
Maldon District Council
Mid Bedfordshire District Council
Milton Keynes Borough Council
North Hertfordshire District Council
Reading Borough Council
Rochford District Council
Slough Borough Council
South Beds District Council
South Oxfordshire District Council
St Albans City & District Council
Stevenage Borough Council
Tendring District Council
Three Rivers District Council
Thurrock Borough Council
Uttlesford District Council
Vale of White Horse District Council
Watford Borough Council
Welwyn Hatfield Council
West Berkshire District Council
West Oxfordshire District Council
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
Wokingham District Council
Wycombe District Council
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
London Borough of Barnet
London Borough of Bexley
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Camden
London Borough of Croydon
London Borough of Ealing
London Borough of Enfield
London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Hackney
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
London Borough of Haringey
London Borough of Harrow
London Borough of Havering
London Borough of Hillingdon
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Islington
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Corporation of London
London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Redbridge
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Waltham Forest