Managing Waste Better

Household recycling rates have risen toMWB Image almost 40%, yet we could still recycle over 80% of our waste.

And whilst legislation has driven a shift away from landfill, we still dispose of over half our rubbish in this way.

Alternative technologies developed to deal with it also bring their own environmental advantages and disadvantages.

What are the issues?

The challenge facing the UK is to invest in the right mix of infrastructure. That means choosing technology that produces the best environmental outcomes now, but is also adaptable for the future.  

The UK also has:

  • An over-reliance on the export of recycling – a result of the lack of end-use markets for recovered or recycled material in this country
  • Underdeveloped business recycling services – despite the commercial, industrial and public sectors producing nearly a quarter of waste generated in England (compared to 9% for household waste)
  • Poor quality recyclate – exacerbated by recycling schemes that result in materials being ‘down cycled’ into lower quality products with fewer environmental benefits. 

What we want to see

We want a national framework for waste management infrastructure, underpinned by legislation that follows the waste hierarchy.

We need to help businesses recycle more and unlock the benefits of local, closed-loop recycling schemes.

And we need to improve recycling quality through better designed recycling schemes, improved separation of materials and targeted communications.

Our work

We aim to be a progressive, independent voice within the waste and recycling sector; we often act as a media commentator, explaining we can manage our waste better.

In the policy arena, we respond to consultations and have recently provided a response to the Government’s Waste Review.

We also continue to provide services that help local authorities, schools, waste management companies and businesses to: promote waste prevention; encourage reuse and repair; and drive up recycling rates.

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