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WRAP urges councils to work together to sell recyclables

July 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have urged local councils to work together to ensure they are getting value from the material they collect.

WRAP has also begun to investigate how to increase recycling rates for aluminium can and foil by working with the Beverage Can Makers Europe to analyse waste composition. This will include analysing what is stopping people from deciding to recycle as well as investigating the social demographics of those who choose to, and choose not to recycle these items, with the eventual aim of providing councils with more opportunities to increase the revenue they are able to raise through recycling.

As well as attempting to increase recycling rates to help councils generate extra revenue, WRAP’s director for local government services, Phillip Ward, has branded councils as ‘useless’ at getting value from the material they currently collect. To improve this, he has suggested that councils, which are looking for ways to increase their income, should look at working collectively to sell their recyclables, as many currently do when buying services. Ward’s suggestion is based on the example of 10 Hertfordshire councils who have already successfully generated extra revenue by joining together to send newspaper to Shropshire-based Newport Paper.

The increase in profits generated through this partnership has encouraged the councils to deepen their relationship by signing two year contracts with two UK companies, with the aim of sending all their plastic, cans, glass and Tetra Pak cartons to the two recycling firms, with the expectation of raising £560,000 a year in extra income.

Should the Hertfordshire experiment continue to produce success it appears likely that councils across the UK may adopt their methods.

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