Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Dispatches programme puts spotlight on waste industry

Illegal waste activity and allegations of landfilling waste for recycling was highlighted for the nation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme last week.

Reporter Simon Barnes went undercover to expose blasé attitudes to the disposal of hazardous waste, fly-tipping and illegal landfill sites, and suggested Irish waste management company Wastebeater landfilled waste for recycling.

Barnes was told by waste transfer station staff to throw an old fridge “outside somewhere at night”. And as a Wastebeater employee, where he found evidence of recycled waste being shredded before being sent to landfill, he found workers lacked belief in the system: “Recycle my arse,” said one.

Wastebeater defended its operations, saying the programme was an “extremely inaccurate portrayal of its business practices” and that it made “every effort to recover as much material for recycling”.

Seeking to reassure the public that recycling was worthwhile, Waste and Resources Action Programme chief executive Jennie Price said there were “very real environmental benefits” from recycling.

While waste management company Viridor “wholly welcomed” the focus on flytipping and large scale illegal activities. But thought the section on Wastebeater “seemed to reflect the peculiarities of that region” and served to emphasise the need for “good segregation systems at the point of collection and clear communication regarding service provision.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.