Agenda item

Update on the Development of the Resources and Waste Strategy for England


Ruth Dixon informed the group that:

·       WCC as the waste disposal authority (WDA) spoke to DEFRA in January 2023, they were interested to discuss how the interface between the WDA and the Waste Collection Authority (WCA) works with regards to recycling payments and data

·   DEFRA provide monthly updates for authorities

·   The National Resource and Waste Strategy was published in 2018 and consultations were carried out in 2019 and 2021. Some feedback from the 2021 consultations on EPR and DRs has been published, but feedback on consistency in collections is still outstanding

·   Reforms called CPR (Consistency and Packaging Reforms)

·   With Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) the local authorities should be paid for the management (collection and disposal) of all household packaging they deal with. This will be funded by the producer (brand owner, e.g. Kellogs), and it is likely that goods would cost a fraction more to pay for this

·   DEFRA are working with Local Authorities on EPR to establish how payments will be apportioned and claimed. It is likely to be calculated on a formula basis rather on actual tonnage or cost. Each authority would be put into one of an expected nine categories that WRAP has developed. EPR should be finalised by April 2024, and this will include how much each authority will get paid to deal with this waste. This amount could be accepted or appealed. The payment will cover everything apart from DRS (deposit return scheme) drinks containers and packaging from which the authority gains an income, e.g. steel cans

·   Over the next few months DEFRA will carry out a composition analysis from pre-selected households to see what the composition of their recycling and residual waste bins are as well as HWRCs and street bins. DEFRA has picked certain individual authorities to become a part of different working groups/panels

·   For the English DRS, it is expected that the deposit level will be capped in law to 25p per bottle / can. In England, DRS will apply to plastic drinks containers e.g. water or pop bottles (PET polymer type) and metal cans. It will not apply to plastic milk bottles (HDPE polymer type) or Tetrapak-style cartons or glass

·   Scotland and Wales plan for their DRS to include glass

·   England’s DRS will apply to containers between 50ml to three litres in size

·   DRS machines will be installed at all supermarkets and in other public places, and they will read the barcode to return the deposit. If eligible waste is put in council recycling, then the local authority may be able to access the deposits

·   Scotland’s scheme is planned to start on the 16th August 2023 but this may not happen as it is a contentious issue for some of the prospective leaders standing to be First Minister in Scotland

·   England’s DRS is planned to start of the 1st October 2025

·   Consistency in collections focuses on telling collection authorities what they can/cannot do. It’s expected that there will be a requirement for mandatory separate food waste collections by April 2025

·   WRAP is offering consultation to local authorities. RBC have worked with WRAP on this

·   By 2025 all authorities are expected to collect Tetrapak and plastic film by 2026/27. Sherbourne Recycling can already handle all of this

·   There could be restrictions on collection frequency, charging for garden waste collection and collecting recyclable waste separately or comingled or this could be left to local decision

·   When DEFRA release this consultation feedback, this will be shared. It is expected that this will be released at the same time as a new round of technical consultation on statutory guidance

·   Each collection authority should have provided up-to-date information on their service to DEFRA by the 31st March 2023 as they will use this to work out new burdens payments for food waste collection and EPR payments

·   DEFRA’s next local authority engagement session is the 5th April which should cover their bin composition work


Andrew Pau noted that it was good to get more clarity on the DRS and more things were expected to be confirmed by central government over the next few months. This included the compulsory weekly food waste collection. WCC will go out to procurement for their new food waste reprocessing contract in the next few months.


In response to Councillor Katheryn Lawrence, Ruth Dixon stated that Sherbourne Recycling will be collecting data, but it would not send information directly to DEFRA as any data would come to the local authorities. Each local authority has a responsibility to upload waste tonnage information to Waste Data Flow and will therefore submit their own data. Recycling credits will sit separately from this, as DEFRA is still establishing what they will do about this. Local authorities would need to submit waste tonnage data individually because recycling tonnage on its own was not the whole picture. It was hoped that a mandatory waste tracking system will be used in future for all waste transactions.


Julie Lewis added that Sherborne Recycling were currently dealing with Stratford and Warwick’s dry recycling as they arrange where this material is sent. Details showing a breakdown of the materials they receive each month were given, so they know how much of each stream is recycled.


Councillor Margaret Bell stated that whilst she was very supportive in plans to stop litter and increase recycling, the DRS plan was complicated and may never be fully understood by the public and the costs involved with the infrastructure could be utilised better in other areas. It was inevitable that the public would put recyclables in council bins so local authorities need infrastructure to deal with this material and get back the deposits.

Ruth Dixon noted that the purpose of the DRS was to reduce recyclable litter but also to create a better quality of the recycled plastic, that can be put back in the system to be used again in the drink industry. The reforms should ensure better labelling, so each container should say if the consumer can claim money back on it via the DRS. If done properly, the producers and consumers should be paying everything, so theoretically local authorities should not pay for the DRS.