Free DIY materials available for reuse by residents
Published date: 21 June 2023

Government’s DIY waste announcement a diversion tactic

Following the Government’s recent announcement that all local authorities must provide residents with free DIY waste disposal, North London Waste Authority (NLWA), which does not charge for the service nevertheless expressed concern about the Government’s priorities and its flip-flop attitude towards the polluter pays principle.  

NLWA Chair, Cllr Clyde Loakes, questioned the timing of the announcement when the Government had neither published the results of its much-delayed consistent collections consultation, nor pushed back on recent lobbying against Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). He also questioned the focus on a small but populist policy, which may end up costing council taxpayers more, as opposed to EPR which would save council taxpayers money. EPR will help councils deliver improved waste reduction, as well as reuse, repair and recycling services and initiatives, which are critical to the delivery of the circular economy.  

“The Government must publish its consistent collections reforms and keep its promise to implement EPR in 2024. It is just tinkering at the edges with this far less significant policy, which won’t make a substantial difference to people’s lives,” Cllr Loakes said.

“EPR, on the other hand, will fast-track innovations towards more sustainable products and packaging, which are vital for the nation’s economy and environment in the long-term.”   

LondonEnergy, the company that manages north London’s largest public network of Reuse and Recycling Centres on behalf of NLWA, does not charge for DIY waste and runs a hugely popular free DIY materials reuse scheme for residents. However, it said it recognised that the Government's decision to end charging for all DIY waste across the UK had the potential to increase charges for council taxpayers in other areas.