Chris Murphy, CIWM's deputy chief executive, said:
"When the fund was first announced last year, CIWM suggested that rather than focusing solely on the frequency of residual waste collection, it should focus on improving the whole service by supporting improvements in three key areas: recycling, food waste collections, and waste prevention initiatives. We are pleased to see that demonstrable environmental benefit is one of the three core criteria and that recycling and food waste collections fall under the scope of the fund."
"However, a number of claims made for the new fund are open to question, including the assertion that it will help to tackle "'bin blight' and the proliferation of bins". Frequency has little impact on the number of bins allocated to a household compared to the overall design of the collection service and subsequent treatment options, most of which are, and should remain, focused on recovering valuable materials from our waste and reducing the amount of residual waste that is sent to landfill.
"In the last decade, the UK has seen a phenomenal rise in recycling thanks to the efforts of local councils and householders. In the majority of cases, this has been achieved by investing in more convenient and well designed local recycling services to separate out a growing range of materials and we would not wish to see a fixation with frequency compromising the progress made so far in delivering high quality recycling.
"We are also surprised at the absence of any robust reporting, evaluation or monitoring requirements, which could have provided useful evidence and learning to inform future practice, and that, according to the prospectus, there is no intention to ring-fence grant payments from the fund."
CIWM is also reiterating its view that local decision making on waste should not be influenced or compromised by undue pressure from central government.
"Waste collection has, and should continue to be, a local decision, with councils able to design services that work for their residents and suit the particular needs of their area. It would be wholly inappropriate and contrary to the spirit of 'localism' for the Government to use this funding as a mechanism to push councils to make changes that are out of step with local views and needs.
"We must also remember that waste collection and disposal represents the third largest area of local authority spend, with costs, excluding capital investment, estimated to rise to £4.3 billion by 2014-151. There is, therefore, a clear limit on the level of support that this fund will be able to offer to councils."
1 LGA written evidence on the Spending Review 2010: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmtreasy/544/544w08.htm
Notes to Editors:
1. The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is the leading professional body for the waste management sector representing over 7000 individuals in the UK and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non profit-making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. Comprehensive information about CIWM can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk
2. More detail can be found on the DCLG website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/2081197
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