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How to maximise value from our waste: use the carrot or the stick?

The Lords Committee investigating the economies of waste will tomorrow, Tuesday 17 December, ask central and local Government officials whether current policies are a help or a hindrance.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is exploring the potential to create a multi-million pound economy from waste generated from agriculture, industry and households.

In the first of two sessions, which starts at 10.40, the Committee will focus on the role of central Government and how policies and incentives are geared up to make the most of the bioeconomy.

The Committee members will question Janice Munday, Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Services, BIS; Colin Church, Director, Resource, Atmosphere and Sustainability Defra, and Olivia Knibbs, Head of Independent Renewable Generation, DECC. 

e session's questions will include:

  • What do we, as a nation, need to do to make the most of bio-waste and waste gas as valuable resources?
  • Which Department has the policy lead on this issue and how do different departments work together?
  • Is incentivising only certain sectors and technologies the right approach or will this always lead to market distortions and policy uncertainty?

In the second session of the morning, which starts at 11.40, the Committee will concentrate on the local authority picture and the impact of policy at that level. 

It will hear from Ed Mitchell, Executive Director of Environment and Business, Environment Agency, John Woodruff, Chair, National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO), & Head of Waste Services, London Borough of Bromley, and Mark Plummer, Team Leader, Minerals and Waste Planning, DCLG.

The questions the witnesses will face include: 

  • How do decisions made by Local Authorities influence the availability, composition and quality of bio-waste, which could be used as a resource for a bioeconomy?
  • Are Local Authorities taking the right decisions on waste infrastructure to stimulate a sustainable, high value, waste-based bioeconomy?
  • What more can be done to reduce the regulatory burden on business and enable the maximum value to be extracted from bio-waste and waste gas resources?

The evidence sessions will take place on Tuesday 17 December, starting at 10.40am in Committee Room 4.

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