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

Chris Giscombe, Waste Management Brokers Association

One of the strengths of the UK’s waste and recycling market has always been its ability to innovate and realise the commercial and environmental benefits of the resources for which it is responsible.

wmba

wmba

A significant proportion of this innovation comes from smaller local and regional operators. Such businesses are able to use innovation to differentiate and carve out a sustainable position in the market. The understanding that they need to do something different results in them often being far less constrained than the corporates when it comes to the development of new technology or services.

But we fear that the UK is heading towards a situation where the market will no longer be able to support these vital businesses. Recent economic uncertainty and movement in materials markets has led to an even greater focus on price. A decision to purchase a waste and recycling service based solely on price makes the business case for investment in developing new technologies or services more challenging.

Another challenge comes from the increased level of consolidation in the market. Businesses are becoming undervalued and, as a result, national operators are looking for acquisitions to bolster their market share. This reduces the number of local businesses that were willing to try something new and cuts off the lifeline of technology innovators.

Ultimately this situation is going to slow the rate at which we develop our resource management capability and, in the mid to long term, could create a very ‘vanilla’ service offering.

There is no doubt that a one-size-fits-all approach – while beneficial for certain waste managers – will do little to support their customers or the UK’s overall environmental performance. We must remember that most technologies come with a premium at the outset but provide value through their lifecycle as it becomes the market standard.

The strength of our supply chain provides value for waste producers and ensures that we can continue to move towards a resource efficient and circular economy. The industry must work to provide a supportive environment in which these businesses can innovate and flourish.

Chris Giscombe is  (WMBA) chair 

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.