Two down and one to go ....

It is a case of two down and one to go as far as the consultations are concerned. Last week we submitted our responses to the DRS and EPR consultation and work continues on drafting the response to the consistent collections consultation. It has been a very intense period of work and will not be over for another month yet.

In terms of the remining work to do on the consistent collections consultation we are in the process of finalising our next draft. There is a session with Exec members this week and once that is complete then we update our response, and it should be ready to send out to LARAC members on Monday next week (14th). We also have a survey running that will help inform our final response and are looking at how we incorporate findings from research that was undertaken for us on garden waste services.

The workshops we held in May were really useful and the insights and thoughts we gained from the LARAC members who attended have helped shape the LARAC response. The feedback we got from those who attended was they also found it very useful, which is what we hoped.

In relation to the DRS response LARAC submitted we have called for a deferral of any DRS. This would give the EPR and consistency reforms a chance to take affect and allow for more research into the possibilities of a digital DRS based on the kerbside collections instead of a DRS based on RVMs. We still believe a DRS based on RVMs is a costly way to gain a very small increase in the national recycling rate.

For the EPR response we have raised concerns about payments to local authorities being based on modelled costs and how “efficient and effective” services will be determined. It feels like there are still a lot of unknowns with EPR and it is disappointing that the proposals that were presented in the consultation were not more fully formed. This means that once the dust settles on the consultation there will still be an awful lot of engagement work to do with Defra and the devolved governments.

The main question on everyone’s lips going forward will be just exactly when all these changes take place and when producer payments start flowing to local authorities. In theory this will be October 2023 but there are already signs that this may get put back. We hope not, we have waited far too long for a change to the current PRN system that has done nothing to fund household collections, so we will do all we can to push for payments to start as soon as they can.

In the meantime, thank you for all your support and engagement throughout the consultation periods, it has been very helpful and useful. We hope you have found what we have done to support LARAC members useful. That said I must admit I cannot wait for it all to be over now and get back to all the stuff we did before the consultations landed.