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Cutting Red Tape Reform for Waste Sector

The UK Government has identified some areas of reform for the waste industry in its bid to save businesses £10 billion from the cost of regulation.

The Government held a review of the waste sector between July and September 2015 as part of the Cutting Red Tape programme and asked businesses, trade associations and industry experts to help identify bureaucratic and regulatory barriers to growth and productivity in the sector. The Department for Business and Skills (BIS) has released a report on the findings of the review which commits to a programme of regulatory reforms to cut red tape by simplifying, removing or reducing burdensome legislation, regulations, guidance or codes.

The Cutting Red Tape: Review of the Waste and Recycling Sector report tackles specific issues, such as the current permitting system, the producer responsibility regulations and inspections regime as well as the more strategic issues of duplication of regulation and the interpretation of EU Directives.

The review’s report says that the sector was chosen to be in the first phase of red tape reviews due to its contribution to the UK economy and the fact that waste regulation impacts on businesses across the economy. According to the Office for National Statistics, the waste sector has over 5,200 businesses in the UK, employing 106,000 people and producing a turnover of £18.5 billion a year.

Principal themes identified as part of the review are:

The Government has said they have developed an ambitious plan of action to tackle the issues identified in the review and is committed to wide consultation as they take actions forward, ensuring that all businesses have an opportunity to help shape the outcomes. The report states: “We are confident that by acting on and addressing the findings from this review, we will develop a more proportionate, coordinated and risk-based approach to the regulation of the waste sector that will benefit business and regulators.”

A progress update is expected in January 2017.

If you have any views on this report, or if you would like to comment on any current issue in the waste sector in our quarterly newsletter, get in touch with Lucy Brooks, Communications Manager, on 01273 929223 or email

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