Revamp of recycling and waste management urged

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has set out a new vision for UK waste strategy, arguing that a more coherent approach to managing recycling streams could save £250 a year on council tax bills.

The new strategy paper, entitled ‘Resourceful: Delivering a Strong and Competitive UK Resource Economy’ argues that the proposed policy package could mobilise £10 billion of private sector investment, create 50,000 jobs.

This would then deliver savings for the public purse of up to £4 billion a year, which equates to between £50 and £250 a year off council tax bills per household.

The four main areas for action included: transferring resource ownership from the public sector to product supply chains; building resilient recycling and recovery markets; realising economies of scale; and driving waste crime out of the sector.

Jacob Hayler, ESA executive director, said: “Without action, we estimate that by 2020, waste could cost local authorities and businesses an extra £260 million to £485 million per annum.

“In addition, around 15 per cent of the UK's current recycling capacity will close during this timeframe, reducing household recycling rates by five per cent and leading to the loss of 8,000 jobs. This will result in the UK missing its recycling targets."