Councils and businesses across Cumbria are gearing up for a major overhaul of waste management as new Government laws come into force.

The regulations are due to kick in at a borough, county and national level over the next three years, leaving authorities like Copeland with major challenges to face.

Copeland council’s executive is due to discuss what the raft of changes might mean at a meeting next Monday, when they are due to consider an officer report.

Janice Carrol, community services manager, said there would be significant changes and challenges ahead for Copeland and Cumbria as a whole.

These include the introduction of separate weekly food waste collections by 2023, and the requirement to collect extra materials for recycling.

The council may also have to contend with a potential ban on charging for garden waste collections and will face greater pressure to work more closely with other local authorities in the county.

But under the plans, packaging manufacturers could be asked to pay councils the full cost of recovering and recycling their waste.

Meanwhile, a series of possible deposit return schemes rolled out across the UK is expected to have a detrimental impact on kerbside recycling services.

The raft of measures will require local authorities to collect a greater range of items for recycling by 2023 including: glass, bottles and containers; paper and card; plastic bottles; plastic pots, tubs and trays; steel and aluminium tins and cans.

Councils could also be asked to collect food and drinks cartons and potentially plastic film for recycling.

As part of the shake-up, weekly food waste collections will be mandatory from 2023.

Presently, food waste is not collected for recycling in Cumbria and there are no existing facilities to process food waste in the county.

The report recommends that such processing plants would need to be developed in Cumbria, or arrangements made to send food waste out of county.

Fortnightly waste collections look set to be rolled out as a minimum for all authorities, with performance targets introduced.

Legislation will also force businesses to arrange to separate dry recyclables and food waste from non-recyclable waste by 2023.

The council missed its 40 per cent recycling target but has reported a substantial improvement on the previous year.

This was equal to a four per cent increase on 17/18 (to 37 per cent).

The council has also reported a 967 tonne (or six per cent) reduction in the amount of household waste collected for disposal.

This is the equivalent of the service collecting over 50,000 fewer wheelie bins than in 2017/18.