Review of DEFRA’s report on the environmental and health effects of waste management

06 May 2004

In response to a recommendation in the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit November 2002 report, Waste Not, Want Not, DEFRA contracted Enviros Consulting Ltd and the University of Birmingham to review the scientific literature and evidence on the relative health and environmental effects of all the different waste management options.

The Royal Society was approached by DEFRA to provide an independent review of the consultants report. The Society brought together a group of experts to carry out the review. The review group were asked to comment on the reports comprehensiveness, familiarity with new science, objectivity and general robustness. We were not consulted regarding the studys terms of reference.

The Society produced a final review of the report in November 2003. In response to substantial concerns raised by the review group a number of changes were made by the consultants to the report. These changes were acknowledged by the Society in March 2004. Both statements can be found here. Our comments can also be found in Appendix 4 of the DEFRAs main report. The Society did not comment on the extended summary report.

The Royal Society welcomes the fact that the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is opening up the science information it receives to independent review.