Apologies for Cross-Postings
FYI - my understanding is that this could result in costs of up to $300/ton
for biodegradable municipal waste.
From: "James Watson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 21:22:34 +0100
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR
Out of hours: 020 7270 8960
22 December 2004
ENGLAND TO LAUNCH WORLD'S FIRST ALLOWANCE TRADING SCHEME FOR MUNICIPAL WASTE
England is set to launch the world's first allowance trading scheme for
The trading scheme, to be introduced in April 2005, is a further step in
the drive to move to more sustainable waste management practices, like
composting, for biodegradable waste, such as kitchen and garden waste.
It will benefit councils, such as Isle of Wight District Council, Windsor
and Maidenhead Borough Council and Dorset County Council who have taken
the lead in dealing with kitchen and garden waste by collecting,
composting and recycling over a quarter of household waste produced in
their region during 2002/03.
The scheme has been developed by Government to help local authorities meet
tough targets under the EU Landfill Directive to reduce the amount of
biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill sites.
Under the scheme, authorities will be set allowances for the amount of
biodegradable waste they can landfill.
Waste disposal authorities will be able to trade their allowances with
other disposal authorities; selling allowances if their waste has been
diverted to other disposal routes, e.g. recycling, or buying allowances if
they exceed their set allowances.
Waste disposal authorities will also be able to save unused allowances
(bank) or bring forward part of their future allocation (borrow).
The scheme, now approved by both Houses of Parliament, is the first of its
kind in the municipal waste sector, but trading schemes have already been
used successfully across the world in other sectors, most notably to
reduce emissions to the atmosphere.
The diversion of municipal biodegradable waste from landfill is a key
objective under the Landfill Directive. One tonne of biodegradable waste
produces between 200 and 400m3 of landfill gas. Landfills released 25% of
the UK's methane emissions in 2001, which represents 2% of our total
greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2010, biodegradable waste going to landfill must be 75% of the amount
produced in 1995; by 2013 this is reduced to 50% and by 2020 to 35%.
Today, Environment Minister Elliot Morley welcomed the scheme and
highlighted how it is set to help local authorities in meeting waste targets:
Elliot Morley said: "These Regulations create a trading scheme that allows
councils to cut the amount of waste going to landfill sites where it is
most cost effective to do so.
"It is an innovative approach which moves Government away from the old
tools of command and control by offering an alternative to the regulatory
system of inflexible targets.
"Through the flexibilities of trading, banking and borrowing, authorities
can find the most cost-effective means of meeting waste targets, tailored
to their specific waste strategies and circumstances."
In England the scheme is designed to give local authorities as much
flexibility as possible, whilst still ensuring that the Landfill Directive
targets are met.
Earlier this month, Government confirmed that the penalty for
non-compliance with targets to divert biodegradable waste from landfill
would be reduced from £200/tonne to £150/tonne.
Mr Morley concluded: "Experience from other trading schemes show that they
work by helping to secure cost-effective solutions to meeting targets.
This should not mean an increase of pressure on council bills."
Notes for editors
1. The EC Directive [1999/31/EC] on the landfill of waste requires the UK:
* by 2010 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 75% of that
produced in 1995;
* by 2013 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 50% of that
produced in 1995;
* by 2020 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 35% of that
produced in 1995.
The target years for the UK take advantage of a derogation in the
Directive that allows member states which landfilled over 80% of their
municipal waste in 1995 to postpone the targets by up to four years. The
target years set out in Article 5(2) of the Directive are 2006, 2009 and 2016.
2. The Regulations are made under the Waste and Emissions Trading Act
2003, which was granted Royal Assent in November 2003.
3. Further information on the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme can be
4. Isle of Wight DC, Windsor and Maidenhead BC and Dorset CC were the top
three performing waste disposal authorities for recycling and composting
during 2002/03. Their individual recycling and composting rates are as
* 1st - Isle of Wight DC - 31%
* 2nd - Windsor & Maidenhead BC - 29%
* 3rd - Dorset CC - 27%
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