GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[greenyes] Re greenyes Digest 14 Oct 2004 16:20:29 -0000 Issue 259

Re - Watching the U.K.
1629 by: "Eric Lombardi" <eric@no.address>
1630 by: "Reindl, John" <Reindl@no.address>
1631 by: "Eric Lombardi" <eric@no.address

In response to Eric's remarks about how the EU landfill directive is being implemented in the UK, I'd caution you from drawing too many conclusions - the picture is not so clear (or as bright) as you think. There are plenty of US states with far more effective mechanisms in place and they have been doing it longer (the UK was dragged into implementing the landfill regulations and has consistently sought extensions to the deadline, and special dispensation). Minnesota ad Wisconsin are only two of the many good examples. Also bear in mind UK law prohibits pay-as-you-throw schemes, and household hazardous waste is exempt from the new hazardous waste regulations (meaning it will continue to be landfilled with mixed municipal solid waste). Many UK borough councils pay for municipal waste disposal on what is called the 'default levy system', which is a pre-determined cost not based on the amount of tonnes landfilled. This is not exactly a catalyst for waste minimisation.

Having worked in both the US and the UK I would urge my colleagues in the US to focus on the amazing array of legislative, policy and programme options available to US states, counties and cities (not to mention funding options) and to learn from other states and also the Canadian provinces. The landfill lobby continues to be very strong in the UK. Local governments here are not seeing evidence of what Eric termed "a well-funded rates and dates target". While most welcome increases in the landfill tax as a matter of principle, the link to new and enhanced waste minimisation and recycling programmes is less clear. Local governments are being set arbitrary weight-based recycling targets (which favour glass and paper to the exclusion of other recyclables) and are under pressure to add more and more services but with no additional funding. They do not have the same flexibility and authority to raise funding through other means (for example tonnage fees, local taxes, sales tax or even PAYT). For a variety of reasons hypothecated (earmarked, or ring-fenced) taxes are also not favoured by the Treasury. Even with the best intentions, it remains a challenge for many localities to achieve even modest recycling rates.

Caroline Brimblecombe
London, United Kingdom

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain information
which is privileged and confidential, the disclosure of which is
prohibited by law and intended solely for the use of the individual or
entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in
error please note any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
message is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender immediately
if you have received this email by mistake and delete it from your
Email transmissions cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as
information can be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late
or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept
liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message
which arise as a result of email transmission. If verification is
required please request a hard copy version.
Thank you for your co-operation.

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]