Composting Association slams over-prescriptive Government, 20 Nov 2002

  Tony Breton


The Composting Association has criticised the Government for unnecessary over-regulation following the release today (20 Nov 2002) of a consultation document on the composting of catering wastes. The document lays out proposed future composting and biogas policy and presents local authorities, commercial composters and waste management companies with a stark choice for the future management of catering wastes: pay or burn.

The Animal By-Products Amendment Order (2002) seeks to introduce new national rules for treatment standards in light of those being introduced when EC 1774/2002 Laying Down the Health Rules Concerning Animal By-Products Not Intended for Human Consumption is adopted in April 2003.

Chief Executive of the Composting Association, Dr Jane Gilbert said
“Across the EU the Regulation (EC/1774/2002) is being seen as an opportunity to ensure that safe, cost-effective techniques are used to comply with both the Landfill Directive (EC/31/99) and EU Regulation. However, the prescriptive techniques proposed in the consultation go much further than is seen necessary in mainland Europe and will make the composting of these wastes prohibitively expensive. In the short-term this amendment Order actively promotes the high risk strategy of landfilling catering wastes, and in the longer term actively encourages incineration.”

The 2002 Amendment Order is based on the findings of a risk assessment commissioned by DEFRA earlier this year. This found that, given certain process requirements, the risk associated with the composting of catering wastes containing meat was acceptably low.

The Composting Association will be consulting extensively with its members over the forthcoming months with meetings being scheduled for January.

On the bright side, householders will once again be able to compost catering wastes as long as they do not have a pet pig or other ruminant animal. This move is welcomed by the Composting Association as it will encourage sensible composting of wastes at home, a step fundamental to the success of all the national Waste Strategies across the UK.

To read the Consultation paper,