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Govt waste review could cut red tape

MATERIALS - Change to Waste Framework Directive will encourage use of recycled materials

A GOVERNMENT review of England's waste management strategy could cut administration costs for specialists.

Currently, contractors using waste materials from other industries, such as pulverised fuel ash from power stations, must apply for waste handling licences each time they use it.

Product manufacturers that use industrial waste also have to apply for waste management permits.

The red tape has heaped costs onto contractors and there are concerns that the rules are threatening the use of waste and secondary materials in construction.

One major ground engineer engaged on a mine working stabilisation job in the West Midlands opted to use virgin quarried sand instead of PFA on the scheme because of the waste rules, increasing the cost of the project.

But under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Review of England's Waste Strategy consultation document, the Government has highlighted European moves to amend the Waste Framework Directive and help improve demand for recycled materials.

The review concedes that the definition and regulation of waste materials is stif ling opportunities for their use and it revealed that the Government intends to extend its Quality Protocol materials guidance ? an environmental control process ? to products other than aggregates and compost.

This means fewer firms will have to apply for waste management permits.

The report underlined some of the work the construction and demolition industries have done to reduce their impact and highlighted the landfill tax and aggregates levy as key drivers for the reuse of waste.

But Peter Huxtable, secretary of the British Aggregates Association, said that quarrying practices had changed little since the introduction of the tax and the association would welcome the opportunity to reply to the document.

Speaking at the launch of the consultation document, local environment quality minister Ben Bradshaw said: 'This is about reducing the environmental impact of waste, reducing the impact on climate change, conserving natural resources and reducing the risk to health. The waste strategy will offer a long-term vision.' The consultat ion per iod ends on May 9.