To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to review section 45(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure that local authorities are not suspending the collection of food waste with garden waste in the event that those local authorities charge for garden waste.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities are not suspending collection of food waste with garden waste collections in the event that those garden waste collections are chargeable.
We support frequent and comprehensive rubbish and recycling collections. Under new measures in the Environment Bill, local authorities will be required to arrange for the collection of a core set of recyclable waste streams from households, which will include food and garden waste. Under these new requirements, food waste must be collected at least once a week and both food waste and garden waste must always be collected separately from the dry recyclable waste streams and residual waste. The food waste and garden waste streams should be collected separately from each other unless it is not technically or economically practicable or there is no significant environmental benefit in doing so. Following support in response to our initial consultation, we are preparing a further consultation on consistency in recycling to be published this spring, which will include further detail on timelines for local authorities to comply with these new requirements.
With regards to charging, under section 45(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, local authorities can recover a reasonable charge for the collection of garden waste. As part of the upcoming consultation, we will be seeking further views on whether local authorities should be able to charge for the collection of garden waste, or whether a free minimum collection service should be provided. Irrespective of the outcome of this, the requirement on local authorities to collect food waste at least once a week will mean that there will be no option for local authorities to suspend the collection of food waste under any circumstances, including where food waste and garden waste are collected together.