The UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has brought local authorities, waste management contractors, recyclers, producers and retailers together to discuss the possible options for creating greater consistency in household recycling and to develop recommendations to present to the government’s Department for Environment Farming & Rural Affairs (Defra) later this month.
“Over the last few months the group has met formally three times and we are all working together very constructively, with an eye on the prize; which is to improve recycling, minimise costs and make it easier for the public to recycle,” commented Marcus Gover, director at WRAP.
The meetings follow Defra Minister, Rory Stewart asking WRAP to investigate the opportunities and challenges to increasing consistency across the country.
“We are not looking for a one size fits all approach,” added Glover “It is more about trying to identify a small number of approaches to recycling collections that will increase yields and quality, improve services while reducing costs and complying with regulations. We also recognise that change won’t happen overnight so we are looking for a vision that local authorities could work towards as contracts expire and services are refreshed.”
According to WRAP the group has been looking at possible scenarios including how consistency of materials collected, collection methods and standardisation of containers could help to improve quantity and quality of recycling and public participation.
The organisation explained that it has modelled the costs and benefits of these scenarios and expects a menu of options for consistency will be available for local authorities to consider depending on their local circumstances and communities.
However, it added that realising the benefits of greater consistency is not all down to local authorities, other players in the sector are being asked what they can do too.
By considering a more consistent approach in England it’s hoped the public will have a clearer idea about what can and can’t be recycled, as well as improve the quality of the recyclate collected.
WRAP said that once Defra receives the report and recommendations, the Minister will consider the findings and feedback back to the group in due course.
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