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Government waste plan fails to tackle planning constraints

Engineers and planners this week criticised the government's latest waste strategy for failing to tackle constraints now holding back the development of vital waste infrastructure.
Released last week, the strategy raised domestic recycling targets to 40% by 2010 and recommended that half of all construction waste be recycled by 2012.But it failed to offer any changes to the funding and planning system that has traditionally held up the delivery of recycling, composting and energy from waste facilities.'A lot of the responsibility for the targets in this strategy is handed back to the local authorities, and the increased targets will necessitate increased investment in addition to what is already needed,' said ICE waste board chairman Nigel Mattravers.Infrastructure is usually funded via the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and the securing of private investment has traditionally proved difficult for local authorities.County Surveyors Society (CSS) waste committee chairman David Harvey said: 'Government must not underestimate the scale of what lies ahead and must recognise that real progress will be impossible unless it makes good the serious current shortfall in capital and revenue investment.'

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