The End of Waste is Nigh?

25th March 2015

Written by:

David Adams, Managing Director of waste management and recycling broker 707, comments on collective waste disposal and improving waste streams ahead of the End of Waste Conference.

MD of Waste Management company on End of Waste

End of Waste 2015 Conference

The 26th March will see’s End of Waste Conference 2015. The complex EU End of Waste criteria is presenting a number of challenges to our sector and this conference will provide a platform for further discussion on what is an incredibly complex waste management subject.

The End of Waste criteria is part of the broader Waste Framework Directive handed down by the EU in 2008. These standards specify when certain waste ceases to be waste and obtains the status of a product. For something to be considered a product, it has to undergo the recovery (recycling) process and must comply with the criteria specified.

A key issue when looking to satisfy the standards set out by the European Union is the quality of waste. Uncontaminated and high quality waste is already a benefit to the industry and the environment, but from an End of Waste perspective it can improve the recycling and recovery stage, helping materials to obtain ‘product status’. There is a strong argument that for our quality of waste to increase, our waste stream needs to be improved.

A current trend spreading across the UK business environment may hold the key to improving our waste streams, contributing to a successful pursuit of the End of Waste criteria. As we briefly discussed in a previous post regarding the Budget announcement, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are proving increasingly popular amongst a number of UK towns and cities. These are business-led and business funded organisations established to improve a defined commercial area, creating opportunities for collective purchasing, increased buying power and consequently, greater efficiencies and reduced business running costs.

Leeds and Sheffield have voted yes just this month to the establishment of city centre BIDs and with the Yorkshire region producing more jobs than the whole of France, who’s to question the region’s business practices?

A waste management service is one example of how BIDs are reaping the business benefits of collective procurement. Naturally, a collective approach to waste disposal also reduces the impact of waste collection on the environment, eliminating the need for multiple waste management vehicles covering the same routes and increasing a town or cities’ carbon footprint.

Some BIDs are looking at one supplier per waste stream. This segregation of waste greatly improves waste quality and can see waste taken to material-specific destinations, which again, improves UK waste streams and where there is suitable demand for that material, goes a long way to meeting the EU End of Waste criteria. Achieving this would require a universal approach and behavioural change across all levels of an organisation in disposing of waste in separate, clearly labelled bins.

The announcement in the 2015 Budget this week that the government is backing a sharing economy as part of its aim to make Britain more prosperous is a promising step towards to achieving this. Ultimately, collaboration and action across the sector as a whole will be integral to achieving the EU End of Waste Criteria.

Have you benefitted from partnering with other businesses to collectively procure waste management services? Are you looking to establish a BID or similar business cooperative? Share your thoughts with us via Twitter @707RM or comment below. If you’re looking for a solution to your own business waste management needs, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.

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