New section 45AZC Sections 45A to 45AZB: powers to exempt and extend
429 New section 45AZC concerns powers for the Secretary of State to make regulations exempting duty holders from certain separate collection duties. It also allows the Secretary of State, if certain conditions are met, to extend the duties to additional recyclable waste streams, for example separate collection of textiles.
430 Subsection (1)(a) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to create exemptions from the requirement to collect all recyclable waste streams separately from each other under new sections 45A to 45AZB. In other words, the Secretary of State can make regulations so that specific recyclable waste streams (such as plastics and metal) can always be collected together, without the requirement to consider the specific technical or economic practicability or environmental benefit in subsection (6) of the relevant section.
431 Subsection (1)(b) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to create exemptions from the application of the whole of new section 45AZA (separate collection of recyclable household waste from non-domestic premises) or 45AZB (separate collection of recyclable relevant waste). This is to enable the Secretary of State to exempt certain categories of persons from having to comply with these conditions, either at all or for a set period of time.
432 Subsection (1)(c) also allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to create exemptions from the application of new section 45AZA or new section 45AZB in relation to specific recyclable waste streams. This is to enable the Secretary of State to exempt certain categories of persons from having to comply with the conditions set out in new section 45AZA or new section 45AZB in respect of a particular recyclable waste stream such as food waste.
433 Subsection (2) sets a condition that the Secretary of State may exercise powers under subsection (1)(a) only if satisfied that collecting two or more materials together would not significantly reduce the potential for the recyclable household waste or relevant recyclable waste to be recycled. This is to ensure mixed collections are only used where there is no impact on the ability to recycle the materials concerned. For example, collecting glass together with paper can impact on the recycling of paper, as very fine glass shards cannot currently be readily separated from the paper fibres and can lead to damage of paper recycling machinery.
434 Subsection (3)(a) allows the Secretary of State to amend new sections 45A to 45AZB by regulations, in order to add further recyclable waste streams to subsection (10) of those sections. This is so that, as recycling technology improves, it may be possible to recycle items that are not widely recycled now. There are further conditions that must be satisfied so that the Secretary of State can exercise this power. These are set out in subsection (4) below.
435 Subsection (3)(b) allows the Secretary of State to set out in regulations the extent to which these additional recyclable waste streams need to be collected separately or are able to be collected together with other recyclable waste streams. This is because it may be appropriate to collect an additional recyclable waste together with some of the existing recyclable waste streams or, alternatively, entirely separately. The regulations would be able to specify this.
436 Subsection (4) sets out that the Secretary of State may only exercise the power to add further recyclable waste streams to new sections 45A(10), 45AZA(10) or 45AZB(10) if they are satisfied that the waste is suitable for recycling or composting, there will be an environmental benefit to recycling or composting it, that all English waste collection authorities are able to make arrangements to collect that new recyclable waste stream, and that it will be possible for the new recyclable waste stream to be sold on for recycling after its collection.
437 Subsection (5) contains statutory consultation requirements. Before making regulations under this section to add further recyclable waste streams, the Secretary of State must consult the organisations named. These are the Environment Agency, local authorities, and anyone else the Secretary of State considers appropriate. This is a non-exhaustive list.