Shake-up of UK resource management is essential, finds Viridor

Resource management and renewable energy firm has launched a new report proposing a complete overhaul of the way rubbish and recycling is managed as the way to tackle England’s flatlining recycling rates.

Viridor says adopting Resource Networks would boost British business, productivity and jobs, and position the country as a leader in resource stewardship.

Viridor has concluded that:

  • England stands at a crossroads – current waste management systems are no longer fit for purpose.
  • Collection and processing systems will need to operate in a more aggregated manner to meet the needs of quality-focused reprocessors and manufacturers.
  • Fully-integrated Resource Networks should look to Europe’s largest public/private resource partnership in Greater Manchester which has attracted inward investment from manufacturers and contributes significantly to decentralised energy provision.
  • Resource Networks would see local authorities, business and regulators working at scale to deliver efficiencies in real resource management. They have the potential to offer fresh impetus for England’s resources policy, aligning with better regulation, productivity and investment agendas across the UK, and taking advantage of an emerging EU circular economy framework.

In short and paraphrasing, the report calls for a shake-up of the antiquated and arbitrary boundaries to investment and common sense in providing the scale and nature of services that are required on the ground, in a way that makes social, economic and environmental sense.

Viridor’s business development director, Chris Jonas, said: “Ambitious Resource Networks hold the prospect of boosting British business, building better regulation, improving productivity and creating up to half a million jobs. By contrast, retaining outdated policy and systems based on outdated assumptions will do little other than reinforce linear waste management systems that were designed for a bygone era when collections were based on geographic areas and an overall objective of reducing transport and disposal costs.”

Time for a shake-up? While we’re at it, we really should move to a Pay-As-You-Throw system and ensure consumers as well as industry focus on the right priorities.

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