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Industry says public are ignorant about recycling

Over 70% of people working in the recycling and waste management industry believe that the public are ignorant about recycling, according to a special MRW poll.

And 57% believe that Pay-by-Weight will one day be introduced by local authorities in the UK.

More than half of respondents (57%) to the online poll on www.mrw.co.uk said that they do not have faith in the Government's ability to deliver recycling policies.

But 46% of those who answered the survey thought that the Government could make the biggest change to recycling, with 29% believing it is the public and 26% business.

For Onyx chief executive Cyrille du Peloux, the survey showed that the Government needs to do more to improve the recycling infrastructure in the UK.

He said: "The UK needs to look at investing £1 billion in major infrastructure for the waste management industry per year.

"We are moving from a high reliance on landfill to a different world due to the recycling targets and Landfill Directive - the two main drivers changing the face of waste management in the UK.

"Part of this change is the wave of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts. The ability to attract investment depends on how major operators and local authorities work together and share risks. It is critical to find the right balance of risk in PFIs, as well as improving the planning application process."

The survey also showed how much the recycling industry has changed over the last couple of years, and will continue to develop.

Although 46% of the companies or organisations were more than 15 years old, a fifth of all those questioned were less than two years old.

Amazingly, almost 60% of the companies involved had doubled the amount of employees they had since they were established, with turnover and investment in their company also showing the same rate of growth. Considering that 20% of these companies are still relatively new to the industry, this shows the potential still to be realised in recycling and waste management.

In fact, over the next five years the respondents believed that their turnover would double again and investment would increase by almost a third.
Companies and organisations in the sector are still behind the times in many ways with a staggering 31% of them saying they had less than 5% women in their workforce. Indeed, overall 86% of the companies involved had a female working population of less than 50%.

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