June 21, 2011 - Anonymous

Waste reforms will encourage small firms to recycle, says FSB

Small firms will recycle more and save money under the Government’s new waste reforms, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.

Measures unveiled in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Waste Review, which sets out initial steps for a “zero-waste economy” by 2020, would help improve affordable access to recycling for small businesses, according to the FSB.

New proposals outlined include encouraging local authorities to open up household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) for business use and increasing the number of trade waste collections from premises.

While big businesses and those in sectors such as manufacturing have a legal obligation to recycle waste products, most small firms do not. However, costs associated with recycling are typically lower than with general waste disposal, making it an attractive option for them.

“According to our survey, 95 per cent of small firms would recycle more if they had better access to facilities, so Defra’s review of waste policy will be a great help,” said FSB national president John Walker.

Walker added that Defra’s pledge to end the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) by 2013 was also a benefit.

“This is an area that the FSB has called to be reformed for some time, as the scheme distorted the market for waste and recycling services, allowing private companies to charge an inflated price,” he said.

It is now expected that local authorities will be responsible for carrying out most waste and recycling services for businesses. Defra says it will provide guidance through the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to tackle practical issues around adapting HWRCs for business use and making sure charges are fair.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the UK’s attitude to waste had “lagged behind” the rest of Europe for too long, but was catching up.

“Communities and businesses can help us become a first-class zero-waste economy and unlock the real value in the goods that people no longer want,” she said.

The CBI also welcomed the review, calling it an important “first step” towards managing waste.

  • For more information about managing waste, visit the Law Donut website