LARAC defends local authorities over critical reports


The body that represents local authority recycling officers has hit back over two reports that it said showed the need for greater engagement with councils.


LARAC first of all noted that a report from REA calling for mandatory food waste collections was “self-serving” and not reflective of the actual savings that might be realised by the introduction of them.

But it also expressed dismay at an ESA report on more efficient waste systems that appeared to brand councils as inefficient.

Resource Efficient Business Summit

Lee Marshall from LARAC is speaking at this event on local authority involvement in the circular economy. Book now

LARAC chair Andrew Bird said: “The REA report calls for mandatory food waste collections in England on the back of modelling that shows the real savings come from changing residual frequency and reductions in food waste being produced in the first place, which are very optimistic to say the least.

“It also makes no mention of the huge financial support Welsh and Scottish Governments have made in supporting the introduction of food waste collections in those countries or the complications that having split collection and disposal roles in two tier areas brings to the costs allocations. So the ability to realise savings from food waste collections in England are much more limited than the report suggests.

“[Looking at the ESA report], local authorities have risen to the challenge of making services more efficient in these hard times, whether delivered directly or through outsourcing.

“To suggest that they are not or to call for a fundamental change in how local authorities operate without engaging with us first to see how it could work and what the challenges and possible consequences are is disappointing and a missed opportunity.

“LARAC has shown itself to be willing to work closely with other parts of the sector to improve recycling and help others achieve their targets and we need more talking to local authorities instead of talking at them.”