Suez says biodegradable waste landfill ban “cannot be achieved”

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Committee on Climate Change
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The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended a ban on biodegradable waste being sent to landfill by 2025, but Suez has warned this is impossible.

As part of its annual review, CCC has recommended that for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050, it recommends that biodegradable waste, such as food waste, should be prevented from entering landfill by 2025.

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SUEZ recycling and recovery UK technical director Stuart Hayward-Higham said: “In our homes offices and factory floors we all want to play our part to meet the necessary ambition of net zero emissions by 2050 and minimising  further climate change.

“Unfortunately, an early ban on food to landfill cannot be achieved by 2025 as we have insufficient time to obtain planning and build the replacement facilities to collect and treat the food waste that would be diverted. Further we will have only two years after the planned legislative timeframes for consistent collections, EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility schemes ) and DRS (Deposit Return Schemes) in which to deliver affordable and viable alternatives which often take five years of more to obtain planning, finance and be constructed.

“The Government has already rightly started with the main early focus which should be on the reduction of food waste in the first instance, which if achieved would not only deliver the obvious benefits in waste and costs to households but also reduce the amount of food waste that needs to be collected and treated and that which would end up in landfill. 

“Material sums of extra funding will still be needed to fund a whole new ‘binfrastructure’ and vehicles for extra organics waste collection at both local authority level and importantly from businesses, which still account for a significant proportion of food waste.  

“The waste and recycling sector has been working with Government and local authorities to drive waste away from landfill and since 1996 and invested billions of pounds in diverting over 15 million tonnes of residual waste. The resources industry has not only delivered against the existing Government objectives but also supported the longer term objective of driving as much organic waste away from landfill as possible by 2030 as set out in the Government’s recent Resources and Waste Strategy.”

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