BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 4 2001-10-08 Community Composting Network (CCN)

written evidence submitted in advance

[n.b. This evidence was previously submitted to the House of Commons Environment sub-committee on Sustainable Waste Management in September 2000. BAN Waste is grateful to receive this and points out that it has not been updated since Sept 2000.]

Community Composting Network (CCN)

CCN is a national organisation, with over 150 members, promoting community composting as the most sustainable means of managing organic resources.

Definition of Community Composting

Community composting has typically been associated with an intermediate scale of composting between home composting and centralised composting. However, there is an increasing consensus that "community composting" extends to all community sector-driven organic waste management, of which intermediate-scale community composting remains the most common expression. This broadening definition encompasses community-sector organisations promoting home composting/compost education and those working with the public and private sectors.

Community waste sector organisations deliver a wide range of social and economic benefits, such as job creation, training & opportunities for people with special needs, as well as environmental benefits. Given the its increasing role in waste management in the UK, it is vital that the Environment Sub-Committee specifically considers the implications of Waste Strategy 2000 on the community sector.

The value of community composting

Comments on Waste Strategy 2000

Targets

CCN welcome the adoption of statutory targets in recycling and composting for Local Authorities for the first time. However, CCN express concern that the targets for recycling and composting household waste get decreasingly ambitious with time, whereas the targets for recovering value from municipal waste get increasingly ambitious. It is CCN�s view that it is essential that Local Authorities adopt intensive recycling, composting, reuse and reduction programmes immediately, before they are committed to an unsustainable programme of incineration, which can only act as an incentive for society to generate waste.

Levers for Change

A proportion of this section is devoted to stimulating the markets for recycled products. It is ironic that on one hand the DETR wish to develop the market for recycled products when on the other DETR are directly responsible for community composting remaining an illegal activity. The existing Exemption from Waste Management Licensing Regulations for small composting sites makes it impossible for community composters to sell their product. CCN received a written assurance from the Minister for the Environment in January 1999 that the existing exemption would be revised, followed by an oral assurance from a DETR official in September 1999 that the consultation document on the revised exemption would be published in November 1999. The consultation document remains to be published. CCN urge the Environment Sub-Committee to exert pressure on DETR to publish the consultation document with immediate effect.

BPEO

Under Section 4.5 of the Strategy it states: In determining Best Practicable Environmental Option we will expect those making decisions to take account of three key considerations: Waste Hierarchy, Proximity Principle & Self sufficiency.

CCN wish the Government to emphasise:

The Community Sector

Section 4.32 of the Strategy states:
We look to community groups to:

CCN wish the Government to recognise that: