Recycling- quantity or quality

The ICE- Institution of Civil Engineers, has warned local councils could be focusing heavily on quantity rather than quality in efforts to increase recycling rates.

According to the Waste and Resource Management report, the ICE warns that increasing levels of low grade material is being produced by recycling efforts as more items are diverted from landfill, and the end product has to be sent to landfill because of its poor quality.

A multi-million pound drive to enhance the quality of recyclable materials, allowing them to be re-sold on the market and contribute to the economy has been called for.

Waste and Resource Management expert, Jonathan Davies at the ICE said, “In a world driven by carbon reduction and global competition for resources it is time for the UK waste industry to evolve from a disposal sector into a supply sector that unlocks the real economic value of materials in a low carbon fashion”.

The proportion of waste which went to landfill in 2008-09 was 50%, compared to 78% in 2000/01, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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