Major recycling and waste management company has said that next week’s Judicial Review of how England and Wales collects household recycling could result in an expensive and damaging backward step.
The Judicial Review is being held in Cardiff from 26 to 28 February and has been brought about by six members of the Campaign for Real Recycling as they argue that Defra and the Welsh Assembly have incorrectly interpreted the requirements of the European Waste Framework Directive.
However, Biffa is arguing that if the UK is forced to change to kerbside sort from commingled, then this will have a damaging effect on the UK’s recycling rates and render redundant hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in recycling.
It says 274 local authorities, covering more than 19 million households, could be affected by having to purchase new containers for dry recyclables and renegotiate contracts.
Biffa municipal development director Pete Dickson said: “This expensive and damaging step could make recycling more complex when it should be as simple as possible. It would affect millions and cost millions.
“Biffa’s position echoes that of the majority. Local authorities should be the ones to decide how their local recycling and refuse should be collected. They must be allowed to have the freedom to choose the collection system that best meets their local needs, be it commingling or separation.
“The important focus, from the Directive’s perspective, should be on achieving high levels of recycling that produce material that is re-used or reprocessed.”
He added that Biffa is not against source separated collections but sees it as an option for councils where it is more appropriate.