Simpler Recycling Reforms published

Government have published their long-awaited post consultation response on Simpler Recycling (previously known as Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England).  The response includes the planned implementation dates for when food and garden wastes must be collected from households and for business food waste collections for England.

We are holding a member meeting on 2nd November at 3pm where we will be joined by Beth Gordon, Consistency Delivery Team Leader for Household Waste and Recycling at Defra who will talk through the Government response focusing on areas most relevant for members and an opportunity to ask questions. Please book your place here.

The headlines are:

  • Businesses (and relevant non-domestic premises) will have to implement the collection reforms by 31st March 2025, with a two-year extension for micro firms (fewer than 10 FTEs) until 31st March 2027.
  • Household collections (for all recyclables, food and garden) will need to be in place by 31st March 2026 (unless a transitional arrangement is in place regarding food waste collections).
  • Garden waste collections do not have to be free – Local Authorities can choose to provide garden waste collection as part of waste collections under Council Tax or collect it under a subscriber-pays service.
  • Proposal to introduce an exemption to allow co-collection of materials (including food waste with garden waste) without the need for a TEEP assessment (as per the original plan) – subject to consultation.
  • Residual (non-recyclable) waste must be collected at least fortnightly – subject to consultation.
  • Government is committed to providing reasonable new burdens funding where local authorities are required to deliver food waste collections from households. This funding will be based on a modelled estimate of costs and savings for local authorities that will result from the new proposals. This includes capital costs (such as vehicles and  containers), as well as resource costs (such as vehicle re-routing, communications and project management) and ongoing service costs (such as collection and disposal costs).
  • Food waste must be collected on a weekly basis as set out in the Environment Act.
  • Further evidence is needed before publishing guidance on caddy liners.

Published alongside the response is a consultation on the additional policies. This focuses on two areas: expanding the list of relevant non-domestic premises; and additional information required to be recorded in the digital waste tracking service. This is a short (4-week) consultation, closing 20th November 2023.

Defra have also issued a separate, private consultation on the statutory guidance including the exemption to allow co-collection of materials. REA have been invited to respond to this and we welcome members’ comments to feed into our response. Defra will only be accepting responses from stakeholders which have received an invitation to respond from Defra. Please login to read further details below.

We have put together a member briefing on the requirements, please login to access it below.

We have welcomed the publication as clarity over dates gives much needed certainty to industry to enable plans to progress. We recognise that members may have differing views on some of the content and welcome further engagement on the areas still subject to consultation.

Defra have also published the Summary of consultation responses report (PDF). Please see it here. They updated it on 25th Oct as ‘an earlier version of this report incorrectly stated in the executive summary that, ‘two thirds of respondents (65%) disagree with the proposal to provide caddy liners and one quarter (24%) express support’. It was also incorrectly stated that, ‘three quarters of respondents disagree that anaerobic digestion plants treating food waste should be required to include a composting phase’. The Executive Summary has been temporarily redacted while we assess it for further potential errors. The main body of the report remains accurate and valid, as do all statistics referring to stakeholder responses in the official government consultation response.’

Password Protected Content