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UK waste strategy in disarray says US expert

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PRIVATELY FINANCED waste disposal projects in Britain are hamstrung by local government's inconsistent approach, a senior United States consultant warned this week.

'If the nation is serious about changing the manner of solid waste disposal it needs to get a consistent approach, ' said Earth Tech president Alan Krusi.

'The market is still sorting itself out. It is trying to encourage innovation through private operators but what works against it is fragmented local procurement on a plant by plant basis.

'Local authorities are grappling with the issue independently, each using a different approach to procurement and using different consultants.

The ICE said it had brought government and local authority private finance task force 4Ps together to develop guidance notes. Local authorities need the guidance because they lack the expertise to tackle large private finance deals alone, said ICE waste board vice chairman Nigel Mattravers.

'Most counties have got very small waste teams - six or seven people. These people are being asked to put together deals worth £700M to £800M over 20 years.

'That is hugely difficult for guys who are not much more than waste recycling officers who used to be binmen.

'It is all very fragmented with more than 120 authorities responsible for waste around the country, so it is very difficult for these small organisations to take on this brave new world, ' he said.

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