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Shanks Group commits to 80% recycling rate

Shanks Group has committed to increasing its recycling and recovery rate to more than 80% of the total waste handled at its sites by the end of March 2015.

Outlined in the company’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2009/10, Shanks Group currently recycles and recovers 74% of waste it handles. 

The document says although, as a whole, the group has achieved a high recycling and recovery rate, the levels of recycling and recovery across the group vary. For example Shanks Netherlands has a higher recycling rate than Shanks UK. To counter this Shanks will “share our core capabilities and technologies within the group” by transferring technologies which exist in one part of the group with the others. Shanks gives the example of extending anaerobic digestion from Shanks NL to Shanks UK.

Shanks UK has the lowest recycling and recovery rate of 43%, while Shanks Belgium has a 68% rate and the Netherlands an 86% rate. The UK’s rate is an improvement on 2009’s recycling rate of 32% and Belgium’s rate has improved by 7%, however the Netherlands’ rate has dropped by 1%.

“While the group’s UK operation has made significant progress in recent years,” the report states, “a higher burden of development of recycling and recovery capacity will be required in the UK and in other parts of the group to achieve [the 80% rate].”

In order to meet the 80% goal, Shanks says it can expand recycling and recovery capacity by acquisition, building new facilities, improve the efficiency of existing facilities or expand existing facilities.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has experienced lower waste volumes and high incineration capacity. This has led to new legislation allowing incinerators to apply for waste import licences.

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