A survey of members of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has led to a call for improved Government policy when it comes to secondary materials.
The Professional Perspectives on Waste and Resource Management report surveyed CIWM members to find out their views on the recycling and waste management industry and how it should develop.
On the section on recycling, the report states that quality continues to be one of the dominant topics for the sector linked to other related issues including methods and frequency of collection.
While it says Wales and to an extent Scotland have a clear policy on quality, England’s interpretation of the revised Waste Framework Directive and work on the MRF Code of Practice has led to uncertainty, that CIWM wants to be resolved as a matter of priority.
The report added: “At the same time as recognising that efforts to improve the quality of materials collected are paramount, CIWM is concerned that other key strategic priorities are being overlooked as a result.
“The Institution has called for the UK and Ireland government to focus more attention on ensuring that waste is treated as an economic development advantage. To achieve this requires policy measures that encourage UK and Irish business to better capitalise on the value of secondary materials and waste-derived energy products, recognise that increased dependency on sending these resources abroad may not be desirable or sustainable in the longer term, and make a serious attempt to map market demand and incentivise uptake. CIWM feels that England is lagging behind while the remainder of the UK and Ireland are making some progress in these areas.
“At an EU level, CIWM is closely involved in the development of End-of-Waste criteria and the relationship between this element of the rWFD and what will count as recycling/recovery in the future.
“With a stronger focus emerging on commercial and industrial waste, CIWM welcomes a range of policy and support measures across the UK and Ireland to improve recycling and recovery of these waste streams, including efforts to ensure better access to recycling services for SMEs and funding to help businesses to adopt more resource efficiency practices.
“For the major waste producing sectors, however, CIWM believes that the producer responsibility regime and the ‘voluntary deal’ approach may need to be complemented in the longer term by other measures to drive behaviour change, such as more powerful environmental criteria in product standards and financial incentives to encourage the use of secondary rather than virgin resources.”
The report was launched by new CIWM President John Skidmore at his inauguration ceremony.