WRAP has today (12 February) announced the start of the second phase of its cross industry project to examine ways to bring greater consistency to household waste and recycling collections in England, saying it won’t be a one size fits all solution.
Working closely with Resources Minister Rory Stewart, the project has brought together representatives from local authorities, waste management contractors, recyclers, producers and the retail sector to examine opportunities for greater consistency in household collection and recycling services.
WRAP, who is delivering this for Defra, believes this is the first time such an attempt has been made that considers the entire journey our products and packaging take.
Resources Minister Rory Stewart – “I urge the whole waste sector to work together with us over the coming years to deliver greater consistency in the way we recycle”
The first phase considered a range of scenarios, models and different approaches to consistency and areas for further investigation. These will now be taken forward by the advisory group and form the second phase, which will lead to the publication this summer of a vision for greater consistency in collections, what it means for England and the opportunities for different stakeholders.
Details of the vision will now be developed, but certain elements will be considered further, such as a consistent set of materials for recycling; including food waste. And the potential to “rationalise” collections around three main systems; a move which would also offer an opportunity to standardise collection containers used, subject to accommodating different housing types.
Other work streams include working with demonstrator local authorities and wider supply chain initiatives.
Marcus Gover, director at WRAP, said: “We are looking to develop a vision for England that will offer local authorities a way to recycle greater volumes of higher quality materials whilst reducing costs, delivering good services to residents and supporting growth in the recycling sector. It won’t be a one size fits all solution and we want to work with local authorities, to demonstrate the business case for change.
“This is not just about what local authorities do though, all parts of the value chain have a role to play in achieving greater consistency and improving recycling.”
The work to streamline recycling collection in England follows the stagnation of recycling rates, which currently stands at 44%. It is hoped that by “rationalising” collections, residents will better understand what can be recycled and therefore raise rates in England.
Resources Minister Rory Stewart said: “Recycling is really important for our economy and environment and I’m pleased to see the great progress underway to look at reducing the number of collection systems across England.
“I urge the whole waste sector to work together with us over the coming years to deliver greater consistency in the way we recycle.
The work by WRAP will eventually mean everyone across the country will be clear on what and how they can recycle.”