The outcome of a Judicial Review has ruled local governments in Wales should be free to run recycling services that reflect their local circumstances.
The decision follows a claim lodged by the ‘Campaign for Real Recycling’, stating that a clause in the European Waste Framework Directive meant separate recycling bins should be used by every household in the UK from January 2015.
In summarising his Judicial Review, Mr Justice Hickinbottom stated that it was ‘unambiguously clear’ that councils had the right to make their own waste collection arrangements; and the obligation to establish separate collections of paper, metal, plastic and glass from 2015 applies only where it is technically, environmentally and economically practicable to do so.
Cllr Neil Rogers and WLGA Spokesperson for Environment, Sustainable Development and Waste said: “Local councils have long campaigned against a prescriptive approach to how recycling services should be run. As it is ultimately local councils that face financial penalties for any failure to meet recycling targets in Wales, they must be free to shape their own services. This ruling effectively means that we can continue to deliver locally determined collection services that reflect the specific needs of the local council and the communities that they serve.”
“Local government in Wales supports the broad aims of the Welsh Government’s waste strategy, Towards Zero Waste and local councils have already helped ensure that Wales has the highest recycling rate in the UK. Work is now ongoing to ensure that every council in Wales is equipped with a detailed business plan designed to help them meet the ambitious recycling target of 70% by 2025.”
Cllr Bob Dutton, Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for the Environment, said: “A Judge has ruled that the Government has correctly applied the EU laws that the procedures adopted for collection for recycling by English and Welsh local authorities is a matter for each authority as it sees fit for its community. Wrexham Council is delighted with the help that residents have given to ensure the continuing improvement of the council’s recycling performance and would like to thank our citizens for their commitment to recycling.”