08 June 2006 | Paul Snell
Councils in England will miss targets to increase recycling unless there is greater competition in the waste industry, according to a study by the Office of Fair Trading.
In More Competition, Less Waste
, published this month, the OFT argues the infrastructure does not exist in the current market to meet targets on reducing landfill use set out by the European Union and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is hoped that a more competitive waste industry would drive new technologies required to recycle half of household waste by 2020.
One of the recommendations is that local authorities should not require bidders to have previous experience in waste collection, in order to encourage more interest.
However, Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, told SM that waste collection is becoming increasingly complex.
"The industry's record on health and safety has to improve," he said.
"This can only happen if waste collection contractors have an in-depth understanding of the potential dangers and are skilled in reducing risks."