SIMPLER RECYCLING – A STRAIGHTFORWARD SOLUTION OR A COMPLEX CHANGE?
In 2023, the UK Government announced its ‘Simpler Recycling’ campaign to improve national recycling rates and protect the environment through the reformation of household and business waste collections.
Whilst the move has been positively received, questions have been raised across the waste and recycling sector about its overall impact. So, what is ‘Simpler Recycling’ and how will it impact Local Authorities and businesses across the UK?
WHAT IS ‘SIMPLER RECYCLING?’
Defra’s campaign aims to streamline the recycling process for households and businesses across England by putting an end to confusion over what can and can’t be recycled.
By reducing the number of bins/containers required for waste collection to three (dry recycling, food waste and residual), individuals will be able to recycle the same materials, whether at home, work or school.
The introduction of weekly food waste collections for most households across England by 2026 will also ‘end the threat of smelly waste waiting weeks for collection and cut food waste heading to landfill.’
Under the new requirements, all local authorities in England must collect the same recyclable waste streams for recycling or composting. The recyclable waste streams include paper and card, plastic, glass, metal, food waste, and garden waste.
All non-household municipal premises in England must make arrangements to have the same set of recyclable waste streams (except garden waste) collected for recycling or composting and must present their waste per the arrangements.
Note: these changes will only be in effect in England, not Scotland or Wales.
HOW WILL ‘SIMPLER RECYCLING’ AFFECT LOCAL AUTHORITIES?
A successful campaign will positively affect recycling across the country, but will also lead to significant changes in the composition of waste streams in local areas. This means that Local Authorities will need to adapt their waste-handling operations to manage these changes effectively.
Reporting requirements may be imposed by the national government to assess the effectiveness of the campaign. This, along with communication and educational campaigns, will require waste composition data.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE CHANGE
Waste Composition Analysis can give you the information and tools required to make informed decisions and improvements to your waste-handling activities. Alfred H Knight supports local authorities across the UK in this way.
Through independent sampling and analytical services, we help organisations build an accurate and reliable profile of their waste streams, which enables them to determine how much food waste or recyclables are in which bins and whether they can reduce the volume of their residual waste stream.
To see how one of Alfred H Knight’s experts could support your Local Authority, get in touch with one of our Waste and Recycling experts today via our contact page.