NAWDO statement – Simpler Recycling
Monday 23rd October 2023
NAWDO welcomes the announcement at the weekend of Simpler Recycling, and the publishing of the Government’s response to the 2021 consultation. However, whilst there is some clarity for the waste sector, the Government’s response is lacking detail in a number of key areas which means that implementation remains a challenge.
We do not have certainty with regards to funding, whether that is coming from the Government under the New Burdens doctrine for food waste, or from producers through EPR for packaging. Funding certainty is critical for local authorities to be able to make investment decisions at a time when they face increasing levels of financial pressure.
NAWDO is concerned that, despite some compliance dates being pushed back to 2026, there is a lack of appropriate infrastructure in place to meet the Government’s ambitions on expanding recycling services to a larger core set of materials and introducing universal food waste collections for households. It is unlikely that new sorting and re-processing infrastructure can be brought forward by March 2026, meaning that local authorities may be forced to collect materials for which there is no viable market. NAWDO would like to understand what steps the Government is taking to ensure the wider supply chain is able to deliver against these ambitions.
NAWDO is disappointed to learn that the Government’s planned statutory guidance is intending to restrict the options that local authorities will have to work with their communities to reduce waste, promote reuse and encourage recycling, while also cutting emissions, reducing local pollution, and saving money for other essential services. Examples from across the UK, particularly Wales, show that providing a comprehensive recycling service with three-weekly or even monthly collections of residual waste will deliver better recycling rates, result in less residual waste being generated, and help save both money and carbon emissions. NAWDO questions whether the UK will achieve a 65% recycling rate of municipal waste by 2035 if such restrictive policies are introduced at a national level.
NAWDO and its members remain committed to working with the Government, packaging producers, and the wider resources and waste sector on the delivery of Simpler Recycling over the coming months.