Rules on recycling credits

Regulations defining how waste disposal authorities (WDAs) are to calculate the value of recycling credits they pay to others who remove materials from the waste stream for recycling came into force throughout Britain on 1 April.1

The regulations contain no surprises. They are identical to a final draft circulated by the Department of the Environment (DoE) in January to give local authorities and others advance warning of the new system (ENDS Report 204, pp 31-2 ).

The regulations define two methods for determining the net savings made by WDAs when material is removed from the waste stream for recycling. These are a calculation method and, alternatively, a table showing representative savings in waste disposal costs per tonne for different kinds of WDA.

The new rules are needed because section 52(1) and 52(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 enter into force on 1 April. Under the former, WDAs are obliged to pay waste collection authorities "credits" representing the financial savings they make when collection authorities retain waste for recycling. Under the latter, WDAs have a power to make such payments to other parties. The final version of a DoE circular on the recycling credits system is still awaited.

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