Posts Tagged ‘battery recycling’

Welsh minister supports Every Can Counts

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson has given her backing to the drinks can recycling campaign Every Can Counts and encouraged businesses and public sector organisations across Wales to follow the example set by the scheme.


Environment minister Jane Davidson with members of the IPS Green Team promoting the Every Can Counts campaign

Environment minister Jane Davidson with members of the IPS Green Team promoting the Every Can Counts campaign



The campaign, which was launched in October 2008, is aimed at capturing both steel and aluminium beverage cans away from households and is run by aluminium recycling sector trade organisation, Alupro with backing from WRAP, UK Can Makers and Beverage Can Recycling Europe. 

Its intention to help capture 30,000 tonnes-a-year of aluminium beverage cans and 8,000 tonnes-a-year of steel beverage cans, was endorsed in England by former minister for waste and recycling Jane Kennedy in February 2009 (see story).

The Every Can Counts campaign is working with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and government-funded resource management service Envirowise Wales to roll-out the scheme in Welsh public sector organisations.

Envirowise is promoting the campaign as part of its public sector waste minimisation campaign (PSWMC), which is funded by the WAG and encourages sustainable waste management practices.

Under the arrangement, the campaign is trying to get all public sector organisations in Wales to work towards reducing waste generated as a result of their day-to-day operations.

Envirowise is managed by AEA Technologies and Serco Limited, however, a contract to manage the service is currently being re-let following the merger of existing waste and recycling programmes into one delivery body under WRAP in April 2010 (see story).


Ms Davidson visited the offices of Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Newport, South Wales on Monday (May 24) to show her support for the drinks can recycling campaign.

The IPS has adopted the Every Can Counts campaign to complement its existing recycling programme and encourage recycling among its 365-strong staff, with funding from the PSWMC enabling it to produce promotional material to share throughout the organisation.

Ms Davidson, said: “I am very impressed by the recycling efforts of the Identity and Passport Service and would like to congratulate the staff on their achievements so far.”

She added that the scheme exemplified what could be achieved by workplace recycling and said: “I hope their success will encourage other organisations to take their recycling efforts to the next level.”

Rick Hindley, of Every Can Counts, said: “The range of programmes we are now working with demonstrate the flexibility of Every Can Counts and how it can effectively increase the pro-environmental behaviour of employees. It’s extremely positive to witness how the Identity and Passport Service is implementing the programme and to see it making a difference straight away.”

Related links

Every Can Counts


And, Ms Davidson said that the forthcoming ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy, which is set to be published next month, would look to build on recycling away from the household in order to reach its proposed target of recycling or composting 70% of municipal waste by 2025 (see story).

She explained: “Later this spring I will be launching our waste management strategy ‘Towards Zero Waste’ which will set out our ambitions of becoming a high recycling country by 2025 and a zero waste country by 2050. Dramatically improving recycling at work wll be key to helping us achieve these ambitions.”

Latest data sees England hit 38.8% recycling rate

Monday, May 10th, 2010

England achieved a 38.8% household waste recycling rate for the year ending September 2009, according to the latest quarterly data published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


The recycling rate in England hit 38.8% for the year ending September, although the rate of its increase has slowed

The recycling rate in England hit 38.8% for the year ending September, although the rate of its increase has slowed

The figure is drawn from data for the second quarter of 2010 (July to September 2009) submitted to the government’s waste database WasteDataFlow, which showed a 42% household waste recycling rate for the quarter. 

When taken as a 12-month view to limit the impact of seasonal fluctuations, this represents a 38.8% recycling rate, which is a 0.5% improvement on the rolling year for July 2008 to June 2009, where England achieved a 38.3% recycling rate (see story).

Furthermore, the latest rolling year figure is a 2.8% improvement on the same period for 2007/08.
The data also shows that the total municipal waste generated in England decreased by 0.44 million tonnes (1.6%) for the year ending September 2009 compared to the same period the year before. This meant that municipal waste arisings fell from 27.33 million tonnes to 26.89 million tonnes over this period.

In addition, household waste arisings also fell over this period, which dropped from 24.3 million tonnes in 2007/08 to 23.9 million tonnes – a decline of 1.7%. Furthermore, waste to landfill decreased by 5.0% from 13.8 million tonnes to 13.1 million tonnes.

The average residual household waste per person decreased from 295kg for the financial year (April 2008 to March 2009), to 284kg per head between October 2008 and September 2009.

The best performing regions for the rolling year were Eastern England (43%) and the East Midlands (45.2%). These two areas were also the best performing regions for the previous quarter.


When looked at in a wider context, Defra is aiming for England to achieve an average 40% household waste recycling target by 2010, which was set out in the Waste Strategy for England 2007, a target is matched by those for municipal waste set by the devolved governments.

However, the provisional data shows that the continual 3% improvement needed each quarter for England to obtain the 40% recycling goal slowed, as the rate only rose by 2% compared to the same quarter the year before.

At the current rate, with 3% progression achieved in the final two quarters of 2009/10, England would reach a 40.25% recycling rate once all the returns for the 2009/10 financial year have been collated. However, if the next two quarters follow the rate of progression shown in quarter two and only increase by 2% compared to the same quarters the year before then the rate would be 39.75% for 2009/10.

The slowing of the rate of increase between the quarters in England comes as Northern Ireland reported that its municipal and its household waste recycling rates increased by only 1% in the past two quarters rose by 1% compared to the same quarters the year before. This was compared to an average 3% increase for the quarters before (see story).

And, publication of the results comes as the Scottish environmental watchdog SEPA warned that the slowing of its own municipal waste recycling rate during 2008 means that it would be “challenging” to hit its own 40% target for 2010 (see story).

Data covering the third quarter of 2009/10 (October to December 2009) for English councils is expected to be published by Defra on August 5 2010. The results can be subjected to revisions by local authorities during the course of the year. Fully audited final figures for 2009/10 are expected to be published in November 2010.

Waste sector awaits election outcome

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

As the country goes to the polls today (May 6), councils and businesses are watching closely to see what the national and local elections will mean for the waste and recycling sector.


Latest polls suggest there could be a hung parliament

Latest polls suggest there could be a hung parliament

In what has been widely heralded as the most wide-open election of recent years, all 650 constituencies across the UK are set to vote for one Member of Parliament (MP) each, while council elections are also to be held in many parts of England. Top of the agenda for any new government will be tackling the country’s national debt, with sweeping public spending cuts expected regardless of who comes to power. This in turn is likely to impact upon local authority waste management budgets and central government support for the sector.

While waste and recycling has not been a focal point of the election campaign, the three main parties have addressed the issue in their manifestoes with Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives all aspiring to a “zero waste nation” and each pledging to set up a bank to fund green infrastructure.

However, there are also differences in their approach to waste – with the Conservatives advocating incentives and voluntary agreements to increase recycling while the Liberal Democrats have thrown their support behind more binding measures such as variable charging and Labour has remained adamant that councils should be left to choose.

Below is a summary of what each party has committed to with regards to waste if they come to power.


• Introduce a Responsibility Deal on waste – a voluntary arrangement among producers to cut back on the production of waste and improve its disposal in a bid to move towards a goal of a zero-waste society
• Encourage councils to reward people for recycling.
• Provide funding for councils to provide weekly waste collections.
• Put a floor under the standard rate of landfill tax until 2020, in order to encourage alternative forms of waste disposal.
• Abolish any quangos that do not perform a technical function or a function that requires political impartiality, or act independently to establish facts.
• Abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), instead returning the final decision on large-scale projects including energy-from-waste facilities to a Minister.
• Create a Green Investment Bank to draw together money currently divided across existing government initiatives to finance private sector investment and new green technology start-ups.
• Give local authorities the power to establish district heating networks which use biogas and other low carbon fuels.


• Drive the introduction of ‘recycling on the go’, with separated public bins on the street and in shopping centres.
• Move towards a ‘zero waste’ Britain by stimulating the sustainable use of resources and banning recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill.
• Create a ‘Green Investment Bank’ to invest £2 billion in low carbon infrastructure.
• Ensure 40% of Britain’s electricity will come from low-carbon sources, including renewables, by 2020.
• Develop the IPC to speed up decision-making on major projects.
• Create 400,000 new green jobs by 2015.
• Seek to drive down the costs of regulation by more than £6 billion by 2015.

Liberal Democrats

• Give councils the power to introduce variable waste charging – allowing those residents who recycle less to be charged.
• Set targets for ‘zero waste’ including less packaging, more recycling and a huge increase in anaerobic digestion to generate energy from food and farm waste.
• Improve resource efficiency and reduce waste through better produce standards and reducing excess packaging.
• Introduce sustainable design standards to make products last longer and have longer guarantees;
• Cut packaging by forcing retailers and manufacturers to accept products and packaging back from customers once they have come to the end of their useful life – starting with carrier bags and mobile phones.
• Use the government’s purchasing power to expand the market for green, sustainable products and technology.
• Set a target for 40% of UK electricity to come from “clean” sources by 2020, rising to 100% by 2050, and also establishing a “renewables routemap” to 2050.
• Implement a higher feed-in tariff than under current government plans
• Set up a UK Infrastructure Bank to provide capital guarantees and equity to infrastructure projects such as new rail services and green energy.
• Abolish the IPC and return decision-making to the local level, including third party right of appeal where planning decisions go against locally agreed plans.
• A scrappage scheme for buses costing £140 million.

Plaid Cymru and SNP

For a summary of Plaid Cymru’s waste policy, please click here. For the Scottish National Party’s green manifesto policies, which do not cover waste, click here.