Impact of the general election result on the waste industry

08 May 2015 14:49

“Despite the assertion in the Conservative manifesto that they have been ‘the greenest government ever’, waste policy in England has stalled while Scotland and Wales have made more progressive commitments. The Conservative Government will face some tough challenges such as achieving the 50% recycling target by 2020 in light of England’s flat-lining recycling rate.1

“Our industry urgently needs consistent legislative and economic drivers from the Government to encourage investment in infrastructure and market growth to reverse the stagnation of recycling rates. It’s the responsibility of the waste management and resource sector to work within the framework of regulations to drive up recycling and energy recovery rates.

“A Conservative government will result in considerable repercussions for local authorities, waste collectors and processors. It is likely to lead to further public spending cuts which could potentially impact on municipal waste collections. An EU referendum could lead to a partial or total exit for the EU and would have significant implications on the waste industry, given the EU’s influence on waste policy in the UK.

“Unfortunately, waste and resource management policies have been mostly absent from the election campaigns of the main political parties. Whilst the issue of waste may not be a vote winner, everyone needs their waste removed and the industry makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s economy.2

1 Defra confirmed yesterday that England’s recycling rate for July to September 2014 was 47.2%, an improvement of just 0.1% for the same quarter 12 months earlier (England has achieved a 45% rolling recycling rate from October 2013 to September 2014).

2 According to Defra in February this year, the waste management industry contributed £6.8 billion to the British economy and provided 103,000 jobs in the UK in 2013.

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