LARAC's Initial response to the launch of the Consistent Collections Consultation from Defra

LARAC has welcomed the release of the government consultation on consistent collections but has stated that the greatly reduced consultation period of 8 weeks is unacceptable for a consultation covering such key policy changes.

LARAC is disappointed that Defra is still pursuing the imposition of free garden waste services despite the strong opposition to it from local authorities in the 2019 consultation. However, LARAC is pleased to see options presented that include charged for green waste collections, given over two thirds of councils now charge for this service.

The consultation states that local authorities will have to implement separate food waste collections by 2024/2025 at the latest and LARAC is concerned about the potential contractual and cost implications this could have for some local authorities. LARAC however does welcome the confirmation that Defra will cover upfront and transitional costs of food waste changes as well as ongoing operational costs.

Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC, said “There is a lot of frustration about the short period for this consultation. We would urge Defra to review this immediately and reinstate a full 12-week consultation period, as government consultation guidance recommends. Regardless of the timescale I would urge all local authorities to take the time to properly consider this hugely important consultation and respond meaningfully to them. The outputs from this consultation will shape local authority waste services for the next twenty years and so we need to get them right.”

LARAC remains concerned about the viability of collecting plastic film by 2027 given the lack of sorting and end market capacity that is currently available, and the big changes needed to meet such a deadline.

LARAC will be working closely with its members to produce a response and helping them produce their own responses. This includes regular updates, briefings, surveys and workshops.