Local government in Wales has welcomed the outcome of a Judicial Review that ruled councils should be free to run recycling services that reflect their local circumstances.
The decision follows a claim lodged by the Campaign for Real Recycling 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 that 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 (Wrexham), 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.”