We are all working hard on our members' behalf; on the consultations and more ...

As I write this it’s exactly 6 weeks, or halfway, into the Resources and Waste Strategy consultations period, and we have just completed the five LARAC workshops. The workshops were a two way process in order to gain members’ views as well as provide more information to help you respond. I managed to attend two of the five workshops and it was interesting to hear the thoughts and ideas you have and I hope all the attendees felt the same. We have also run an online survey and therefore we have an abundant amount of valuable data which is going to help LARAC formulate our responses. Our aim is to have draft copies of the responses circulated to members during week beginning 22nd April.  

I attended a Waste Network Chairs’ meeting a couple of weeks ago, and we were joined by three DEFRA officers. One of the main points which I keep hearing repeated is the need for evidence in our responses. If you have tonnage information, or any data which supports your stance e.g. why chargeable garden waste collections doesn’t mean all the tonnage you don’t collect ends up in residual waste, then please make sure you include this in your response. 

Last week also saw the launch of the Resources and Waste Policy Impact Calculator tool to help local authorities estimate the potential financial and operational implications of the different Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) scenarios, and full net cost recovery Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) proposals, on their individual services. The tool has been updated this week and is available via the LARAC website. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on your results. Also on the LARAC website is a full list of the all the consultation questions available to download if you so wish. 

As you can imagine, the consultations are taking up a lot of my LARAC time at the moment, but it was good to take a break from consultation reading to judge the entries in this year’s Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management. There were a lot of local authority entries and it was really encouraging to see many great examples of best practice out there even though we are still experiencing year on year cutbacks. The winners will be announced on 9th May at the EMG event in London.