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Warehouse in York stores items meant for recycling

January 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Due to the current lack of demand for recyclable goods, the City of York council is stockpiling paper and card which local residents presumed were being recycled. The warehouse is being used until demand picks up once again but could also house other materials including scrap metal.

This summer has witnessed a crash in the market value of recyclable goods but the waste management company, Yorwaste, was keen to tell people that "there is no crisis."

China, which purchases much of the UK’s recyclable goods, has decreased its demand for materials in light of the recent economic downturn. However, councils are keen to stockpile materials rather than pay to put them in landfill and are convinced the market will pick up once again. The amount of waste set aside for recycling has significantly increased, meaning that in this current financial situation councils are seeing warehouses as a viable option until demand rises once again.

Other councils are following suit causing the Labour government to come in for a string of criticism, particularly as environment agencies are concerned about the health implications of storing unclean items for several weeks. To add to the concern, many local authorities simply do not know where materials end up, risking the credibility of local recycling initiatives.

Councils such as York are determined that warehouse storage is a temporary measure only. However, the Environment Agency has been compiling new guidelines for storing metal, plastic and paper, indicating that the problem is likely to remain for some time.

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