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Domestic Waste: Recycling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 24969, tabled on 30 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional funding to local councils for the purposes of improving waste and recycling services for household waste.

Answered on

9 July 2021

As part of the Government's Resource and Waste Strategy, published in 2019, Defra launched consultations on introducing major changes to recycling services through a suite of collection and packaging reforms. These reforms include introducing consistency in recycling; Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging; and a Deposit Return Scheme.

The reform on consistency in recycling aims to help reduce confusion, and thereby improve the quantity and quality of what we recycle both at home and at work.

Following support for the proposals in our 2019 consultation on 'Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England,' we have introduced legislation through the Environment Bill that requires all local authorities in England to make arrangements for a core set of materials to be collected for recycling from households. This core set includes: paper and card; plastic; glass; metal; food waste and garden waste.

On 7 May we published a second consultation on recycling consistency. The consultation is seeking further views on recycling consistency, including the materials in scope, exemptions and statutory guidance. We intend to provide further detail on the requirements outlined in the Environment Bill in secondary legislation. Even though these regulations will have effect in England only, as a matter of good practice we will inform Devolved Administrations of our regulations once they are drafted.

Any new financial burdens introduced through new statutory duties on local authorities will be assessed and the net additional cost covered by the Government. We are working to assess net additional costs to local authorities and will continue to engage with local authorities on the cost estimates, as well as the appropriate timing for funding to be provided to authorities, to enable sufficient lead-in time ahead of the introduction of recycling consistency reforms.