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The voice of the skip hire, recycling and waste industries in the UK & Ireland.

Ian Hetherington, director general of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), issued the following to the Conservative Government:

“The Conservative Government has to play a decisive role in Europe as the European Commission redevelops its circular economy package which will be revealed in autumn. Then, a comprehensive set of core policies in this arena must be implemented to provide certainty and inform industry investment decisions over the next five years.

“We hope that the whole topic of waste, reuse, recycling, resource efficiency and the treatment of unrecyclable residues is debated fully in place of the fractured sub-topical monologues that have characterised recent years. The recycling industry has done a great deal to further this agenda, but we do need a strong lead from the Government to ensure that the positive value of material destined for recycling is not frittered away by the over-zealous and over-complicated enforcement of regulations designed for genuine problem wastes.”

  • The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) represents the £5 billion UK metals recycling industry.
  • The BMRA’s 340 members include large and small businesses in the ferrous and non-ferrous sectors including shredder operators, merchants and traders.
  • Metals recycling is a globally competitive and environmentally important industry. It supplies secondary raw material, which preserves natural resources, saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80% in metals production.
  • Approximately 60% of UK recycled metal is exported. Recycling of metals is also the major contributor to the UK’s achievement of targets under EU Directives such as end-of-life vehicles and packaging.

Following news that England’s recycling rate has increased by just 0.1% and that the Conservatives will form a majority government, Kristian Dales, Sales and Marketing Director of FCC Environment, one of the UK’s leading waste and resource management companies, commented:

“Despite the assertion in the Conservative manifesto that they have been ‘the greenest government ever’, waste policy in England has stalled while Scotland and Wales have made more progressive commitments. The Conservative Government will face some tough challenges such as achieving the 50% recycling target by 2020 in light of England’s flat-lining recycling rate.[1]

“Our industry urgently needs consistent legislative and economic drivers from the Government to encourage investment in infrastructure and market growth to reverse the stagnation of recycling rates. It’s the responsibility of the waste management and resource sector to work within the framework of regulations to drive up recycling and energy recovery rates.

“A Conservative government will result in considerable repercussions for local authorities, waste collectors and processors. It is likely to lead to further public spending cuts which could potentially impact on municipal waste collections. An EU referendum could lead to a partial or total exit for the EU and would have significant implications on the waste industry, given the EU’s influence on waste policy in the UK.

“Unfortunately, waste and resource management policies have been mostly absent from the election campaigns of the main political parties. Whilst the issue of waste may not be a vote winner, everyone needs their waste removed and the industry makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s economy.[2]

1 Defra confirmed yesterday that England’s recycling rate for July to September 2014 was 47.2%, an improvement of just 0.1% for the same quarter 12 months earlier (England has achieved a 45% rolling recycling rate from October 2013 to September 2014).

2 According to Defra in February this year, the waste management industry contributed £6.8 billion to the British economy and provided 103,000 jobs in the UK in 2013.

[1] Defra confirmed yesterday that England’s recycling rate for July to September 2014 was 47.2%, an improvement of just 0.1% for the same quarter 12 months earlier (England has achieved a 45% rolling recycling rate from October 2013 to September 2014).

[2] According to Defra in February this year, the waste management industry contributed £6.8 billion to the British economy and provided 103,000 jobs in the UK in 2013.

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