In a week where all the major political parties have launched their manifestos, the waste industry has highlighted what it would put in a manifesto if it had the opportunity.
Rabbitt Recycling chief executive Michael Morris said: “I would encourage the next Government to help industry develop and build recycling infrastructure to help drive recycling targets.” He also said there was too much “form filling” to do during the application process for the planning process.
Morris added that the next Government should help small and medium-sized businesses with more grants.
In its manifesto, the Conservative Party outlined plans to give back power to local communities.
It stated that local communities could specify what kind of development they want to see in their area.
Shanks director Paul Dumpleton said that planning issues were a top concern for the industry. He said the process had to be much more simplified and needed to happen at central Government level rather than a “local” level.
He also explained that his prime concern was the lack of “level-playing field of enforcement” in the waste industry. For example, he said that materials recycling facility operators that take in commingled waste need waste management licenses, whereas ones that do not take commingled material could get an exemption.
Indigo Waste Services managing director Gary Lee said: “The next Government should think about haulage prices. Since Christmas, prices have gone by at least 20 pence and most of this is tax. Everything is just getting really expensive – purely on a haulage point.
“Big waste companies are also snapping up small ones. Big waste companies are not innovative – it is the small ones who come up with all the ideas. [The big waste companies] are just conscious to their shareholders – they just buy, buy, buy. The Government should do more to help small waste companies.”
Container supplier Straight Recycling chief executive Jonathan Straight said that he would like the next Government to give composting bins to people for free so people can compost their food waste at home which “would be more environmentally positive than collecting or treating it”.
Law firm Norton Rose senior associate Lucy Fletcher said: “The questions that businesses would most like answered are ‘who is going to pay for what, when and where?’. Banning certain materials from landfill will also mean that businesses will have to send this waste elsewhere, for example, putting it in energy from waste facilities. Who is going to pay for this infrastructure and what incentives are there for businesses?”
Fletcher also said that many small and medium sized businesses are going to be affected by changes in legislation, more so than larger businesses who are more geared up to meet corporate social responsibility targets.