Earlier this week, Claire Shrewsbury, WRAP’s head of government and communities, delivered the keynote speech at the National Food Waste Conference (27 March), stating there was a ‘mountain to climb’ to meet Defra’s standards within its Resources and Waste Strategy.
Ms Shrewsbury’s speech highlighted more work was required for local authorities to introduce more consistent collections. The speech pointed out that at present just 16 local authorities collect six of the core materials specified in Defra’s strategy, along with separate weekly food collections and garden waste collections.
Whilst Ms Shrewbury’s comments were in relation to food waste and collection, it highlighted the shocking fact that only 16 local authorities collect all of the materials set out by Defra.
The variation in collection systems and materials across England and Wales leads to confusion among householders and, ultimately, can impact on the quality of end materials. Additional processes at MRFs are also required to accommodate and manage the various waste streams.
Ensuring quality by standardising collections is the best way forward. Adopting a universal collections scheme nationwide would mitigate confusion and be better for everyone involved – from residents through to reprocessors.
We cannot afford to compromise on quality.