CIWM responds to government's Simpler Recycling announcement

CIWM welcomes today’s announcement from Defra on the Simpler Recycling reforms. CIWM - and the sector as a whole - has been calling for the previously named Consistent Collection details to be released for months, so it is a relief that we finally have the details needed to enable the sector to move forward.

We believe the proposal for a national level assessment that would enable the widest range of collection methods to be used, rather than a local assessment process on a case-by-case basis, is a pragmatic and sensible approach. This will allow local authorities to implement the collection systems that are most effective in their areas. We are also pleased that local authorities will be able to charge for garden waste collections if they wish to do so, as, in many cases, this provides vital funds required to keep services going.

Lee Marshall, CIWM Policy & External Affairs Director, said: “We have been waiting for this announcement for what feels like an age, so it is great that we now have the details. The flexibility around collection systems appears to be a sensible way forward and I am sure local authorities will be pleased with that approach. 

The deadlines for implementation, especially for film, remain challenging given the delays we have had, and there will be concern about procurement bottlenecks that these relatively short deadlines may cause. 

The proposal to restrict residual frequency to a maximum of fortnightly is, however, unwelcome, as there are numerous examples of how this helps increase recycling and makes collections more cost effective.”

CIWM is somewhat surprised that the implementation date for business collections is ahead of the implementation date for households given that the payment details for these collections have yet to be agreed. There are also concerns about the timescales involved for all local authorities to undertake what are potentially significant service changes, and for the private sector to bid into the relevant contracts.

CIWM also questions the arrangements for the consultation on the statutory guidance that local authorities will need to follow for Simpler Recycling and believes it should be open to all within the industry to respond to.

Overall, we view this announcement as a very positive, albeit long overdue step forward. It gives the sector reassurance that Defra is serious about delivering the reforms that were outlined in the Resources and Waste Strategy and that will help us achieve our purpose of a world beyond waste.


Notes to Editors:

CIWM: CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing over 5,000 individuals in the UK, Ireland 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. More information can be found at

Press contact for CIWM:
Gemma Smith, Head of Marketing & Communications
Tel: 01604 823317