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The UK government has received a rap over the knuckles from Europe for dragging its heels in complying with Europea...
The UK government has received a rap over the knuckles from Europe for dragging its heels in complying with European Community requirements in respect of waste management plans.

The court has found that by not drawing up waste management plans complying with the provisions of directives of the European Council the government has failed to fulfil its obligations.

The aim of the directives in question is to ensure removal and recovery of waste and encourage the adoption of measures aimed at restricting the production of waste, primarily by promoting clean technologies and products which can be recycled and re-used.

Among other things the directives deal with: the type, quantity and origin of waste to be recovered or disposed of; general technical requirements; special arrangements for particular wastes; suitable disposal sites or installations; the estimated costs of the recovery and disposal operations; and appropriate measures to encourage rationalisation of the collection, sorting and treatment of waste.

They include provisions for the competent authorities to draw up, either separately or in the framework of their general waste management plans, plans for the management of hazardous waste and shall make these plans public.

Commissioners complained that waste management plans in force that were notified to it by the UK government did not appear to cover the whole of the UK.

The government did not dispute its alleged failure to fulfil its obligations and admitted that, during the period under consideration, it had failed to adopt and/or notify waste management plans capable of covering the whole UK.

However, it said steps were being taken to rectify the situation by replacing local plans with national strategies, which should constitute the appropriate means of satisfying the requirements.

The government was ordered to pay the costs of the hearing.


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