REA meet with the Waste and Resource Strategy Team at DEFRA
At the end of June, Kiara Zennaro, Jeremy Jacobs and Mark Sommerfeld from the REA policy team met with the Defra Waste and Resource Strategy team, where they highlighted the potential of Organics Recycling, Food waste collections, Biogas, landfill gas and Energy from Waste.
It was clear that the DEFRA are still very much in listening mode around the development of the new strategy, and they provided limited indication of developing proposals. However, they were responsive to the views and evidence we provided on food waste collections, revising the waste hierarchy, using carbon metrics and providing a clear policy direction for advanced conversion technologies, amongst other discussion points. The meeting was a continuation of the engagement the REA are doing with DEFRA around the new strategy and we shall be providing members with further updates as they become available from the department.
Discussion on food waste was extensive and although Defra seem to be more engaged than in the past, it is unlikely that mandatory food waste collections will be imposed as seen in Scotland and in Wales. Imposing additional cost burdens on councils is a significant concern to Defra although Jeremy did highlight to them the REA report, now two years old, sponsored by Olleco and written by Eunomia which evidenced that collecting food waste does not have to cost more when all costs are factored in.
DEFRA are due to publish the new Waste and Resource Strategy in Autumn this year.