Crisis looms on industrial waste amid Whitehall policy vacuum

British implementation plans for the EU landfill Directive were thrown off course in July when Member States failed to agree waste acceptance criteria which had been under negotiation for more than three years. The Confederation of British Industry - opposed to "gold-plating" of EU controls - is taking advantage of the hiatus to call for a light-touch implementation strategy in the UK. With the Environment Department apparently too weak to pick its own course, the result is profound uncertainty among waste management firms in the run-up to the ban on co-disposal in 2004. A recent House of Commons report reinforces the view that, amid the confusion, there may well be insufficient capacity to treat hazardous waste in the UK when the ban takes effect.

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