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Government figures show slow progress

24th September 2014

Viridor today commented on the release of waste statistics for the UK.

Dan Cooke, Director of External Affairs, Viridor, said:

“Defra’s figures published today confirm that we are still not making the progress required of us and it remains touch and go as to whether the UK will meet the EU’s basic recycling target of 50% by 2020. We must continue to challenge ourselves to do more if the UK is to truly deliver a circular economy.

“The waste industry of today is very different from the past. It’s important that society embraces the new opportunities and improved technology coming on-line to manage the UK’s annual 75 million tonnes of household and business waste in a way that is better for the environment and better for the economy.

“The fact is we will only be successful in significantly reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering waste to move us towards delivering a more circular economy if society shares our view that waste should be seen as a valuable resource. It is essential that we continue to work in partnership with national and local government to ensure recycling is as simple as possible and to engage with business and local communities to further increase participation and the quality approach required.

“We recognise our responsibility to ensure that the benefits of our £1.5bn investment in next generation recycling and recovery infrastructure is understood. However, we need government to intervene to address instances of poor practice to reduce levels of waste crime that is currently having a negative reputational and economic impact on the waste sector.

“What’s more, the government must also look to actively encourage more recycling and a greater level of our waste to be diverted from landfill to energy recovery facilities in the UK. Limiting the increasing amounts of poorly-managed waste being ‘exported’ (at a cost) to the EU in particular would support domestic jobs and investment and allow the UK to maximise the potential of a national renewable resource to help power and assist with the UK’s energy security.”

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