December 2005

Consultation opens on 2007/2008 recycling targets in London

London— Environmental Quality Minister Ben Bradshaw launched for consultation proposals for recycling and composting targets for 2007/08.

Bradshaw stressed that the consultation would deal with targets for 2007/08 only.

He confirmed that the current review of Waste Strategy 2000 would consider a longer term vision, looking more broadly at the future direction of local authorities, wider waste streams and the role of statutory targets.

First set in 2000, the current targets for all English local authorities run until March 31, 2006 and are designed to deliver the Government’s target to recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste by 2005.

Further national targets to recycle or compost at least 30% by 2010 and at least 33% by 2015 were also set in the original 2000 strategy.Four basic options are outlined in this consultation:

•Set targets for local authorities equal to targets in 2005/06.
•Freeze targets for all except those local authorities with a current target of 18% (the lowest level) which would be raised to 20% of household waste.
•Set higher statutory targets for 2007/08 and remove the 30% cap on the highest recycling targets.
•Do nothing.

Bradshaw outlined his preferred option: to freeze targets apart from those councils with targets of 18% which would be raised to 20%.

“My preferred option would be to raise the lowest targets from 18% to 20% for 2007/08. Not only would we maintain the current momentum on recycling and composting but it would also allow us to focus on some of the poorest performing authorities.”

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