Speaking at the Resourcing the Future Conference in London, WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said that he was “sure” that the UK’s household recycling rate will reach at least 75 per cent within 25 years.
WRAP estimates that the level of waste will drop by 20 million tonnes and the amount of material reprocessed in the UK will rise by 15 million tonnes.
This is despite a predicted rise in population Gover said a “dramatic” reduction in waste levels was possible through changed in consumer behaviour and the creation of longer-lasting products.
Mr Gover said that, “much less waste, much less landfill, we’re making things last, we’re making recycling work for the UK and our imports have gone down,” and that, “that’s quite a transformation. You can see the change that’s possible. We don’t need Government to do this … but it helps having policies that drive it.”
WRAP will be launching its consumer food waste prevention strategy later this year.
In the same week it was also announced that recycling in Manchester has risen by 8 per cent, which will save more than £7 million in disposal costs.
Manchester City Council said that its rate was on course to rise from 32 per cent in 2015-16 to 40 per cent in 2017-18.
Nigel Murphy, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said:
“Residents’ recycling efforts have made such a big difference that we now have to update our collection patterns, to make sure that all the extra recycling is collected efficiently.
“There’s always more that we can do as a city to push our recycling rates higher. But, by working together, we are already on course to avoid £7m in needless waste disposal costs.”
Earlier in the year it was announced that the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GNWDA) told Viridor and its joint venture partner that it would terminate the region’s long-term waste contract.
Viridor’s parent group Pennon said that the decision to scrap the £3.8 billion deal was due to financial challenged caused by a long period of austerity measures.
It is not known if the decision will lead to disruption among collections or recycling rates – which aim to hit 60 per cent by 2025.