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Getting the most out of kerbside

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is set to launch a series of seminars to promote to local authorities the benefits of including plastic bottles in their kerbside collection schemes. The seminars, which are free of charge, will be held in venues across the UK from October until February 2005.

Many local authorities are unsure about the infrastructure and economic viability of collecting plastic bottles, explains Paul Davidson, WRAPs material sector manager for plastic.

To address this, these seminars are designed to inform delegates about the increasingly healthy markets for plastic bottles in the UK, and the ways in which collection can be carried out cost effectively.

We also want to let authorities know that advice on getting started or improving existing schemes is available through WRAPs ROTATE programme.

The seminar programme has been developed to provide delegates with an understanding of the plastic bottle recycling market, and the political and environmental justification for integrating plastic bottles into kerbside collection schemes. Methods of ensuring that schemes are productive and cost-effective will be explored, backed up with case studies on successful schemes.

The afternoon session will consist of two workshops: How to set up a plastic bottle collection scheme and Improving an existing plastic bottle collection scheme to allow delegates to discuss their particular concerns with the speakers and other experts and to share ideas and experiences.

A full briefing pack will also be made available on the WRAP website (www.wrap.org.uk) in the autumn, with a range of information on plastic bottle collection including best-practice guidelines, case studies, and market information.

Kerbside Analysis Tool (KAT), which has been developed by WRAP to help local authorities assess the infrastructure and costs for the wide range of kerbside collection systems that are available.

With recycling targets putting increasing pressure on Waste Collection Authorities (WCAs) and their contractors, it is important to be able to identify cost effective solutions and KAT allows the costs and efficiency of different types of kerbside system configuration to be compared, taking account of local factors and requirements.



Complex

While KAT may initially sound complex, it has been specifically designed to require a very limited amount of data before individually tailored projections are possible. This has been achieved by exploiting the relationship between refuse collection and recyclables collection to estimate values for local factors, and by providing average default data for as many of the variables as possible in case the user cannot provide the data.

KAT can provide a range of outputs, from a quick, ballpark comparison to a full set of detailed projections for different collection systems, says WRAP principal analyst Julian Parfitt.

One of the most simple messages, however, is that the more local data available, the greater the accuracy and relevance of the projections. By using KAT, local authority personnel will develop an appreciation of how useful data can be in exploring the costs and performance characteristics of different kerbside schemes.

For those interested in finding out, a demonstration version will be set up on the WRAP stand, with staff on hand to show visitors how KAT works.

The tool can be downloaded free of charge from the Waste Watch website at www.wastewatch.org.uk u



Places on the seminars, which are free of charge, can be booked by contacting Hayley Hetherington on

0113 242 1155 or by e-mail: Hayley@ptarmiganpr.co.uk

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