Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Recycled UK household waste: 2012 similar to 2011

Defra has published provisional quarterly estimates for Quarter 1 2012/13 of local authority collected waste generation and management for England and the regions. According to the figures, 43% of household waste was recycled (including composting and reuse), in the 12 months to the end of June 2012. This is similar to the 2011/12 financial year, but an increase, compared to 2007/8. Final Estimates for 2012/13 will be published in November 2013.

Other headline results are:

  • Household waste generation was almost six million tonnes in Quarter 1 2012/13 (April to June 2012), a reduction of 2% in the same quarter in 2011/12. This amounts to 113kg per person. The combined amount for the 12 months to end of June 2012 was 428kg per person, nearly half a tonne!

  • Local Authorities recycled, composted or reused 45% of the waste they collected in Quarter 1 2012/13. This amounted to more than was landfilled.
  • The use of incineration with energy recovery increased by over 20% to 1.3 million tonnes, which reflects the annual trends in increased incineration seen in the last couple of years

According to the Chartered Institute of Waste Management, the good news is that household waste generated reduced by some 2% in the same period to about six million tonnes. Similarly the amount of waste that is landfilled continued its historic downward trend to 2.3 million tonnes, a reduction of 15% from the same quarter in the 2011/12 period.

At Emerge we collect all grades of dry recyclables as well as IT+WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). We can offer a comprehensive waste management solution for organisations and schools across Greater Manchester. Tel. 0161 223 8200

Monday, 18 March 2013

Does the waste hierarchy need to be enforced?

Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, all businesses and local authorities that produce or handle waste are required to apply the waste hierarchy, i.e. five steps for dealing with waste, ranked according to what is best for the environment.

Prevention, which offers the best outcomes for the environment, is at the top of the priority order, followed by preparing for re-use, recycling, other recovery and disposal, in descending order of environmental preference.

This is now a legal duty ( - one that we have to declare our compliance with in duty of care documentation. But what does this mean in practice?

In his post Dominic Hogg argues that, if applied properly, this duty is pretty significant. For example, it should more than adequately replace the old recycling targets as a driver of local authority recycling performance. But in practice, the new duty has resulted in little change, and in the absence of enforcement seems unlikely to do so.

Dominic Hogg’s post:

Friday, 15 March 2013

FOE report calls for reuse and waste prevention targets

A report published by Friends of the Earth Europe last month (14th February) called for urgent EU policy changes to increase recycling rates and divert waste from landfill and incineration.

The report Less is More, examines the challenges of recycling and reusing lithium, aluminium and textiles, and recommends a variety of measures to improve what it claims are “the EU’s insufficient waste policies”.

Under the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD), member states are required to achieve a recycling rate of 50% by 2020. But the EU’s current recycling rate is 25% and member states landfill and incinerate around 60% of municipal waste. FOE demands EU targets for reuse and waste prevention alongside higher recycling targets.   

Europe is stuck in a system where valuable materials, many of which come at a high environmental and social cost, end up in landfill or incineration,” said Ariadna Rodrigo, resource use campaigner at FOE. “There is an urgent need to fundamentally change EU policies and end our current wastefulness.”

Rodrigo says this waste causes a reliance on raw materials and results in higher carbon emissions.

The rates of waste to landfill differ widely between member states – some landfill only around 5% while the stragglers such as Bulgaria and Romania landfill almost all of their rubbish.

“We have been pushing member states to increase their recycling rates,” said an European Commission spokesman. The spokesman argued that the recycling targets, if met, could be of great benefit to the economy and job production as well as cutting down on the use of raw materials. He suggested that other targets were not currently the priority.

Commission analysis suggests that fully implementing the rWFD would save €72bn a year, increase the annual turnover of the EU waste management and recycling sector by €42bn and create more than 400,000 jobs by 2020.

Jacob Hayler, economist for the Environmental Services Association (ESA), said: “FOE is right to highlight that Europe could achieve even more recycling. The report also draws attention to the wide divergence in recycling performance across different parts of the EU.

“This year the Commission is going to reassess the current target regime for recycling and landfill diversion, and may well conclude that higher targets are required. But what this report shows is that, in the near term, it could be more important to focus on all member states achieving those targets already in place.”

Call Emerge on 0161 223 8200 for help with environmental compliance, resource efficiency advice and training and high quality comprehensive waste management solutions

15,000 – See Waste in Action

Congratulations to Recycle for Greater Manchester - they celebrate their 15,000th visitor since opening their first Waste Experience education centre in 2009.

Recycle for Greater Manchester run four Waste Experience education centres located in Bury, Bolton, Manchester and Stockport, each showcasing a different technology. Visitors can see first-hand how their waste is recycled, turned into compost or recovered for green energy.

The education centres have attracted visitors from across Greater Manchester including many school groups. Helen Walker, primary school teacher at Hursthead Junior School, Stockport said: “This is our third year of visiting the education centres; the tour of the recycling plant really brings the material sorting process to life for the children. They love seeing the giant magnet and the lasers which sort the recycling, though we have to say no when they want to climb the mountain of paper and cardboard! The visit also inspires the children to help their families become better recyclers, with plenty of top tips.”

Greater Manchester produces 1.1 million tonnes of waste each year. The aim is to achieve at least 50% recycling and 75% diversion from landfill by 2015. Alison Heaton, Education Officer explains: “The purpose of the education centres is to encourage people to see how valuable waste is and how important it is for them to do their part at home and recycle right.“

Recycle for Greater Manchester are running public open days throughout the year, if you are interested in making a visit or would like more information contact via email or telephone 01204 374222.

Emerge offers a drop-off service free of charge in east Manchester for residents and businesses. You can also see our depot and sorting of recyclables first hand! Call us for opening times and list of materials. Tel. 0161 223 8200

Friday, 1 March 2013

Fundraiser for FareShare North West

Best of British 3 course dinner to raise awareness on Food Waste and Food Poverty, Saturday  2nd March.

Sustainable Living in the Heatons is a local community group who are holding a fundraising event for FareShare North West on Saturday 2nd March. The aim of the evening is to raise awareness of both Food Waste and Food Poverty in the North West. The theme of the evening is Best of British and the three course dinner (all food donated by local businesses) will be cooked by The Heatons celebrity Chef Selina of Sillis. The  Dinner is at West Heatons Tennis Club, Princes Road, Heaton Moor and the fun starts at 7:30 for 8.

To round off the delicious meal there will be a short talk from FareShare North West about the work they do and what local businesses and the local community can do to support them.

Tickets for a full evening of entertainment are just £8.50 per person. There are limited number of tickets left so the remaining ones will be sold on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your space contact SLH on 07980 584445.