The Impact of Austerity on Waste Management and Recycling Services

24th February 2015

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“Waste on the Front Line – Challenges and Innovations”, the CIWM and Ricardo–AEA report was released today, covering the impact of austerity across local authority waste services, recycling and street cleaning services. Some of the issues and findings raised are also very applicable to the business waste sector, including some innovative approaches to waste management.

Waste management and recycling services are not immune to the austerity measures of recent years. Local authorities have been amongst the most heavily impacted, with 69% of respondents stating that their department’s budget has been affected by reductions in central Government funding in the last five years. This will pose a number of challenges for waste disposal going forward, in particular as local authorities are, from the analysis of the report, only half way through the funding cuts.

However, from a positive angle, innovation in the waste management process has introduced a new wave of delivery efficiencies, benchmarking service performance, streamlining working practices, making better use of recources and buildings, buying services more effectively and maximising the benefits of new technology.

In this instance, perhaps our sector can take lessons from local authorities. Whether we’re working with clinical, hotel, catering or care waste, we should always strive to innovate the business waste management and recycling services that we offer.

The full and comprehensive 32 page report can be found here.

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