Industry Insight: Brexit & EU Legislation

Russ Sampson, ACM’s Principal Environmental Consultant in the North West ensures that he is aware of the changes which are made year on year and continuously monitors his clients’ accounts to help prepare for waste management industry developments that may adversely impact the region. When it comes to your waste management operations, at ACM we try our hardest to offset any waste increases by keeping our ear to the ground and being prepared for waste management and recycling industry developments.

We asked Russ Sampson CMIWM to shares his industry insights on Brexit’s impact on the Waste Industry

Brexit and Changing UK / EU Legislation

Over half of the UKs environmental law is EU in origin.  As we sail into the uncharted territory of Brexit, very little is known about the UKs pending strategy and exactly how the UK will implement its own waste legislation. The effects this will have on waste producers and the waste management industry are far from certain at this stage.  Already Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that Brexit offers “a once in a lifetime opportunity to …. Recast our ambition for the country’s environment, and the planet”, which implies a Green Brexit at the very least (something with potential positive impacts on the waste management industry). Another uncertainty is the effect Brexit will have on UK waste management processing facilities and capacity.  For example, the most recent forecasts suggest a peak 14 million tonne deficit in UK EfW incinerator capacity.  Building expensive new capital plants is unlikely to make an attractive investment proposition for foreign direct investment given the long term international economic and political uncertainties.  Being totally independent of waste and recycling contractors enables me to react swiftly to legislative and market changes on behalf of clients.

All the early indications are that as the UK withdraws from the EU, Government policy will take the UK further towards Circular Economy principles of waste prevention, waste minimisation and source segregation.  With insufficient recycling, treatment and disposal infrastructure capacity for waste in the UK, it is highly likely that wastes costs will continue to rise into the medium term. Client information is monitored against KPI’s to ensure that we continue to deliver best value for the client for example, by remaining within contracted allowances, introducing innovations and ensuring recycling and wastes continue to be collected by the most effective waste collection contractors in terms of cost, service and environmental performance. Costs can also be leveraged down through source separation of wastes and through the utilisation of waste handling equipment that both reduce transport costs and increase rebate values for anyone wanting to manage waste.  The optimal way to reduce waste costs is to generate less waste altogether as addressed by the ACM Avert™ process.

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If you would like further advice regarding any aspect of strategic waste management, please do not hesitate to contact Russ directly - r.sampson@acmplc.com or 07903 805180.

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