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2013 Review - Andy Hill

Soon after the last MRW Handbook went to print, the UK descended into one of the longest, coldest winters on record.  How can we forget “the Beast from the East” that chilled us to the marrow throughout March?

The same happened on the continent, where winter was very harsh.  As a result, most recyclers went into the summer with stocks as low as they could remember.

But by September, there were renewed reports of spiralling gate fees in England, as recyclers struggled once again to offload heavy stocks of wood chip. The problem was most acute in the south although the trend was also felt further north.  This time, much of the blame attached to the biomass industry; some plants were late coming on line, while others suffered from reliability problems which reduced their feedstock requirements.

The WRA is making solid progress on a number of fronts, working closely with the regulators on subjects as diverse as animal bedding end-of-waste positions, dockside storage arrangements, permitting and exemptions, and fire storage arrangements for members’ sites.

WRA membership has now grown to some 90 companies.  We are delighted to have attracted a number of top class major corporations, although the centre of gravity of the association remains firmly with small family-run businesses.

But whatever their size, companies join and remain with us because they feel that the annual subscription is a modest outlay for the information, networking and support that they receive.  In a world where regulation is becoming more onerous and more diligently enforced, the original aims of the association - of being a strong collective voice towards government - was never more relevant.

Andy Hill, chairman, Woods Recyclers Association

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