Dr Adam Read, Practice Director for Resource Efficiency & Waste Management at Ricardo Energy & Environment, has backed a proposal to transfer Government responsibility for waste management from DEFRA to the Department for Business Innovations and Skills (BIS).
The proposal is contained within a new report from the Conservative party think-tank, 2020 Conservatives, which argues that ‘waste’ should be viewed as a resource rather than a liability and that moving responsibility from DEFRA to BIS would create new ideas and business opportunities. The report considers that such a change would better promote resource efficiency and the remanufacturing of waste sector, increasing the UK’s net exports by £20 billion and reducing business costs by over £50 billion a year.
Together with transferring responsibility to BIS, the report recommends a number of policies aimed at improving resource productivity and promoting re-use/re-purposing. These include banning items such as plastics, wood and food from landfills to avoid their destruction and encourage their re-use; and extending the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme to resource efficiency and productivity measures and equipment.
Dr Adam Read said “A switch in responsibility from DEFRA to BIS would be a fundamental change but should be welcomed. In order to make waste issues more about resource efficiency and reprocessing we need to look at business operations, profitability and productivity, which is an agenda for BIS rather than DEFRA.”
Dr Read’s endorsement of the recommendation has been echoed by a number of other industry experts such as Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive at the Resource Association; Barry Dennis, Director General at the Environmental Services Association; and Dan Cooke, Director of External Affairs for Viridor.