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Spelman launches waste review

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The environment secretary has launched a comprehensive review of England’s waste policies with a call for views from businesses, households, communities, and local authorities on how the country should move to a ‘zero waste’ future.

Launching the review, Caroline Spelman said the aim was to examine what policies were needed to reduce the amount of waste generated and to maximise reuse and recycling, while also considering how waste policies affect local communities, individual households and businesses.

She said policies focused on providing incentives to reduce waste would be at the heart of the review, rather than those that rely on “coercion” or punitive measures.

She said: “We are committed to working towards a zero waste economy because it makes environmental and economic sense. Reducing waste needs to be made as easy as possible for people, it should be driven by incentives not penalties and common sense rather than coercion.

She said some of the areas the review would consider include:

  • How voluntary ‘Responsibility Deals’ with businesses can play a role in waste reduction and more efficient use of resources
  • How best to encourage and incentivise individuals, businesses and communities to produce less waste and recycle more
  • How government can work with local councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish collections
  • Future infrastructure needs, including the role of energy from waste and anaerobic digestion
  • How business and household waste is collected, sorted and recycled

Meanwhile, environment minister Richard Benyon has announced a £2m boost in funding to help local authorities deal with flood risk assessments as part of a package of measures to help prevent and manage future flooding.

He said the additional funding would help local authorities identify areas where there was a significantly high risk of flooding and where maps and action plans for flooding are required.

The funding was announced alongside the publication of The National Flood Emergency Framework, which aims to provide guidance and advice for councils and others on planning for and responding to floods.

Mr Benyon said the framework would be a ‘one stop shop’ reference point on flood planning and would be updated on a regular basis.

Mr Benyon also announced the publication of a draft strategy for building local authority skills and knowledge in flood risk management as well as two consultations, to be launched later this year - one to establish national standards for sustainable drainage systems, and another to transfer the ownership of private sewers to water companies.

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