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Simpler Recycling in England- A Brief Overview

Last week (May 2024), the UK government affirmed the forthcoming stages of the Simpler Recycling reforms, aimed at streamlining and enhancing recycling efforts. It's important to note that these changes pertain specifically to England, as Scotland, Wales (you can read about the specifics of Wales here), and Northern Ireland are developing their own policies, more closely aligned with the original Resources & Waste Strategy of 2018.

Under the Simpler Recycling reforms, there is a deadline for the collection of identical materials from all non-domestic municipal premises by March 31, 2025; households by March 31, 2026; and micro-firms by March 31, 2027.

Central to Simpler Recycling is the provision of exemptions allowing for the collection of all dry recyclables in one container, and food and garden waste in another. Consequently, households will be provided with a minimum of three bins: one for residual waste, another for dry recyclables, and a third for organic waste, with a minimum fortnightly collection for residual waste and a weekly collection for food waste.

However, not all local authorities may opt for commingled collection. They will need to ensure an "efficient and effective service" to qualify for funding from the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The criteria for this funding are yet to be finalised but are likely to consider factors such as the demographics of the area, the types of buildings served, collection methods, and ideally, the quality of the collected materials. If the commingled collection meets the criteria, it will receive the modeled cost from EPR.

The scope of the reforms has broadened to encompass non-domestic premises such as places of worship, penal institutes, charity shops, residential hostels, and venues used for public gatherings. Additionally, a Digital Waste Tracking service, slated for introduction in April 2025, will document the types of waste collected and those co-collected under Simpler Recycling, thereby enhancing recycling data.

The government aims to introduce regulations as part of the new Simpler Recycling legislation before Parliament's summer recess, indicating its likely progression into law regardless of a General Election.

According to Defra, this legislation aligns with regulations for the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and the Deposit Return Scheme for drink containers.

By March 31, 2027, all recyclable waste streams (excluding garden waste) will be mandated for recycling across households, businesses, and non-domestic premises.

Heyn Environmental is here to support all businesses and persons with the transition of waste disposal and is on hand to advise and provide information on the products we can offer to help you meet the new legislation.


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