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Cities are working to reduce the amount of waste in landfills through recycling and composting

Cities are working to reduce the amount of waste in landfills through recycling and composting

What happens to waste?

That people produce waste is a fact of life we cannot change. However, we can change how much we produce, how we manage it and what we do with it. Indeed, managing waste in a sustainable way, optimising recycling and re-use, as well as limiting production, forms a core part of Government policy to protect the environment.

This page outlines what is in place to help local authorities reach their targets, some of the support available for businesses to manage their waste more effectively, and how everyone can play a part in ensuring we work together towards a future much less reliant on sending vast amounts of waste to landfill.

What is waste?

Reduce - waste minimisation


Recycle / recover


Types of waste

What is waste?

There is no definitive list of what is and is not waste. Whether or not a substance is discarded as waste - and when waste ceases to be waste - are matters that must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the Courts. It rests, in the first place, with the producer or holder of a substance to decide whether it is being discarded as waste and the Environment Agency is responsible, as a "competent authority", for the enforcement of waste management controls in England and Wales.

Recycling & Composting

Schools, businesses, industries and residents across New York students are making a difference in their communities with programs to reduce waste, reuse, recycle and composting. With these programs we are saving energy, reducing pollution, conserve resources, saving landfill space and making jobs! Besides these long-range benefits of good environmental stewardship, these programs help provide healthier surroundings for communities.

Landfill and the Landfill Directive

Review of Inert Waste Regulation

The Quarry Products Association published a Position Statement in June 2006. Of particular concern was the need to ensure that inert waste remains available to restore exhausted mineral extraction sites. In November 2006, the Davidson Review report recommended that Government and the Environment Agency should conduct a full review of the regulation of inert waste.

In 2007, Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Environment Agency undertook a review of the regulation of inert waste. An informal consultation was launched in December 2007. A workshop was held during the consultation period to engage stakeholders on the proposed way forward. The aim was to adopt a more proportionate and risk-based regulatory approach to the inert waste recovery and disposal operations.

In line with the Davidson review recommendations, the review covered:

the appropriate use of inert waste exemptions [derogations] in EC legislation;

the creation of a more level playing field between different activities involving inert waste (proportionate to the risk posed);

how the implementation of the waste acceptance criteria might be made more efficient;

inconsistencies with the landfill tax regime; and

the quality of guidance, including the issue of when an activity should be classified ...
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