Industry bodies seek meeting with Stewart
Following the appointment of Rory Stewart as Resource Minister, several of the UK’s representative bodies for the waste and resource management sector and local authorities, have sent the minister a letter requesting a meeting to discuss the future direction of resource policy.
The letter – signed by ADBA, CIWM, ESA, ICE, REA, Resource Association and the Waste Network Co-ordinators – highlights key areas of the sector that the organisations think Defra should focus on to improve resource management in England, and help boost England’s waste and recycling performance.
Areas of concern cited by the letter include:
- Recycling. The organisations highlight the levelling off of recycling performance, the current weak market conditions for recycled materials and the need to increase efforts to prevent and recover food waste.
- Investment. The letter calls for leadership from government to encourage invesetment in new waste treatment, recycling and reprocessing facilities, asking for a policy framework along the lines of those that have been instituted in Scotland and Wales.
- Waste crime. Citing the economic and environmental impacts of waste crime, the groups say ‘cracking down on waste crime’ should remain a priority for the government, and that sufficient resources need to be allocated to the Environment Agency and local authorities to tackle the issue.
Offer to help Defra ‘turn this situation around’
A joint statement from the seven bodies at the start of the letter reads: ‘Over the past few years our organisations have worked together to articulate a unified voice for the waste and resource management sector and this has proved effective – notably in working with your predecessor to secure additional funding for the Environment Agency to combat waste crime.
‘We are writing to you now to welcome you to your new role as Minister in Defra responsible for resource management, and to seek an early meeting with you to discuss the future direction of policy in this important area.
‘Waste is a valuable source of materials, energy and nutrients. The industry has grown strongly over recent years despite the adverse economic climate and has the potential to make a further important contribution to growth and job creation. However, we are concerned that progress in improving resource management in England has stalled and we would like to offer to work with you and your officials at Defra to help turn this situation around.’