Proposed amendments to the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 were unveiled yesterday (February 27) in a consultation launched by Defra and the Welsh Government
The consultation is in response to the debate regarding all EU member states to introduce separate collections of glass, paper, plastics and metals by 2015.
A Judicial Review was brought by the Campaign for Real Recycling, which argues for only kerbside sorting to be defined as "separate" and not the current process of commingling.
In December 2011 the case was adjourned for six months to allow Defra time to amend the regulations.
The Defra consultation states: "For the avoidance of doubt, co-mingled collection (being the collection together with each other but separately from other waste of waste streams intended for recycling with a view to subsequent separation by type and nature) is a form of separate collection."
"An integral part of the Directive's requirements on the separate collection of recycling are the concepts of what is 'technically, environmentally and economically practicable', and of 'appropriate quality standards'. It is both Defra's and the Welsh Government's intention to provide guidance on these issues. Our approach to these points is also included to help put our proposed drafting amendments in context.
"Given the timeframe provided by the court; that two formal consultations on the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive have previously taken place; the relatively limited, albeit important, scope of the proposed amendment; and the existing awareness amongst key stakeholders of the issue and intention to propose an amendment we requesting responses in a shorter than normal period. As set out above we would appreciate responses by Thursday 12 April 2012."
Matthew Farrow, director of policy at the ESA, said: "ESA members operate a range of waste collection systems which deliver both high capture rates and high quality recycling. These collection systems include fully co-mingled schemes, kerbside sort systems and various hybrid systems.
"We believe that local authorities should retain the ability to choose the system that best meets their circumstances, and welcome Defra's confirmation that this also remains its view. Ongoing uncertainty around the regulations helps no one, and we hope that these revised regulations will be confirmed."
In a statement, Resource Association chief executive, Ray Georgeson, said: "The Resource Association is pleased to see the Governments are maintaining momentum in seeking a resolution to outstanding issues on the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive. Everybody in the industry needs clarity, and quickly.
The consultation runs until 12 April.
CLICK HERE for the consultation