Mark Whitehead 27 May 2016

Recycling experts defend efficiency of council waste collections

Recycling experts defend efficiency of council waste collections image

Council recycling experts have rejected recent reports suggesting changes to the way waste is collected.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) dismissed a report by the Renewable Energy Asssocation recommending mandatory food waste collections in England as 'self serving' and said it failed to reflect the real savings that could be made.

Instead it called for 'greater industry wide collaboration and more engagement with local authorities'.

LARAC said it was also 'dismayed' by another report from the Environmental Services Association which was 'peddling the myth that local authority collections are inefficient, a viewpoint that is outdated and shows a lack of understanding of council operations.'

It said it was disappointed that the reports, which aimed to influence and fundamentally change the way in which local authorities operate, had 'no engagement with local authorities themselves'.

It said this had to change 'if the waste sector is to move forward and if we are to achieve current and future recycling targets.'

Andrew Bird, chair of LARAC, said: 'Local authorities have risen to the challenge of making services more efficient in these hard times, whether delivered directly or through outsourcing.

'To suggest that they are not or to call for a fundamental change in how local authorities operate without engaging with us first to see how it could work and what the challenges and possible consequences are is disappointing and a missed opportunity.'

Jeremy Jacobs, technical director at the Renewable Energy Asssocation said it recognised that each local authority’s circumstances is different. He added: 'The goal of our report was to independently model the costs associated with separate biowaste collections for businesses and local authorities, and to constructively add to the discussion about waste and recycling.'

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