We asked people across the industry what they hope for in the year ahead
Peter Butt, executive director, Wood Recyclers’ Association
A comprehensive quality protocol for post-consumer wood, one which includes animal bedding and landscaping products.
Adam Fleming, managing director, AF Recycling
More materials to be available at cheaper prices. General increases in construction and specifically our business.
Clyde Loakes, vice-chair, Local Government Association Environment Board
That ‘localism’ wins through and that commingling can continue, albeit with a growing emphasis on quality, as the technology develops. Greater realisation that planning in waste needs special attention to ensure that we can get the facilities we need in a timely fashion. That the waste sector gets better recognition in government, and there needs to be a single government department to handle all waste-related activity or an arrangement which properly co-ordinates activity between the Department for Communities and Local Government, Defra and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Reuse starts to get a far more ‘mainstreamed’ airing in this agenda.
Jeremy Jacobs, managing director, Association for Organics Recycling (now merged with the Renewable Energy Association)
An improvement in recycling and a greater uptake in AD composting.
Paul Briggs, managing director, Mark Lyndon
For quality to remain an issue at the forefront of people’s minds; for Defra and the Environment Agency to do something instead of just ticking boxes; for packaging recovery notes to be scrapped.
Paul Ozanne, national recycling co-ordinator, Salvation Army Trading Co
For us, I want continued progress. In terms of the whole industry, I would like everything to be source-segregated because commingled textiles are no use to anyone.
James Crick, business development director, Nampack Plastics
To continue building more recycling plants.
Paul Dumpleton, regional manager, FCC Environment
I am hoping that 2013 will see continuing investment in infrastructure and technology. Not only is this business moving up the value chain but it is also moving up the technology chain, and we need to continue to invest in separation processes. In the past decade we have seen incredible leaps forward in optical sorting and air separation, but now it is time to move to the next level and push on with x-ray and electronic identification of variable material particulate sizes. We also need to be more aggressive in setting and achieving higher quality specifications and standards. This will, in turn, allow the industry to move towards a position where it can be seen to be consistently self-regulating.
Adam Read, director, Ricardo-AEA
More harmony in Government agendas, and closer alignment of energy, waste and community agendas throughout the Government. With increasing concerns about energy security and prices, resource scarcity and fluctuating global commodity and secondary commodity markets, we need a more coherent policy framework that enables the waste and resources sector to help drag Britain out of the global economic recession. We also need a thorough shake-up of the planning system to deliver new sorting, treatment and reprocessing facilities.
Liz Goodwin, chief executive, WRAP
For economic conditions to improve and for the concept of a resource-efficient circular economy to become mainstream. It would also be great if we saw some new business models emerging which help us all use less ‘stuff’.
Andy Doran, chair, The Resource Association
Despite my pessimism about our current position, I am genuinely enthused about the outlook for 2013 and beyond. We all finally seem to be accepting and, more importantly, acting to ensure that resources become valued for the carbon, value, job creation, balance of payments benefits and so on that they offer. We just need to accelerate several ideas from consultation to implemen-tation across the UK.
Dave Swindells, managing director, Bag It Up
Better regulation and transparency in the textile recycling industry so that rogue and illegal operators are stopped from operating. All our partners enjoy an ‘open book’ policy with us. I would hope that this way of operating would be adopted by all competitors and operators, raising the standards and helping to eliminate many of the horror stories that regularly appear in the press about this sector.
Mark Bradbury, managing director, Vertical Thinking
That we see more emphasis on the economic development value of waste.
David Adams, managing director, Clarity Environmental
We are keen to get confirmation of the possible changes to the waste electrical and electronic equipment compliance system. I am hoping for genuine consultation and then early confirmation from the business department of what the changes will mean for schemes such as ours. We are always looking at how we can develop our scheme to offer the best possible service to our members, but we need early confirmation about the changes we are likely to see in 2014 to enable us to finalise our plans.
Bruce Le Gros marketing manager, Fercell Engineering
More of a level playing field with our European cousins, spurred on by a Government with cajones (not Ed Balls).
Charlotte Morton, chief executive, Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association
For the Government to truly recognise the value of the closed loop, circular economy, and therefore the huge value of AD, for its political, economic and environmental benefits - including 35,000 jobs, renewable gas worth up to £3bn a year and its recycling of valuable, finite nutrients into quality biofertilisers. To remove the barriers to further growth and provide certainty, giving green gas the same priority which shale seems to be receiving. An indication that the Government is on the same page as the industry in key areas such as energy and resource use would be a great start to providing a clear long-term strategy. This would join up policy across land use, farming, renewables, waste, water, transport and energy.
Gavin Barnes, recycling project manager, Tong Peal Engineering
To see more AD facilities, with more people getting involved and embracing this effective waste-to-energy process.
Julian Rinfret, director, Balcan Engineering
The lamp crushing and recycling process differs so dramatically across the world so, in 2013, I would like to see a global approach implemented for recycling to ensure safe and ethical lamp disposal.
Paul Levett, industry non-executive director
We need to create an environment for investment in recycling and reprocessing capacity by launching the mandatory MRF Code of Practice with strict independent auditing, as well as policing illegal exports of poorly sorted paper and plastics.
Herman van der Meij, director, Viridor
I still hope that people become more and more aware of what we try to achieve as an industry, and that it is all built around transparency with protection of commercial confidentiality. There still seems to some apathy in the UK about what our industry wants to achieve: transforming waste into resources while protecting the environment. As the demand for raw material is strong and there is an imbalance in the market, it will search for balance in 2013. So we can expect some up and downs but, long term, this a great industry to be in.
Muhammed Master, commercial director, MV Recycling UK
That the market picks up again and our business continues to grow.
Ian Hetherington, director general, British Metals Recycling Association
A new vision for Defra and the Environment Agency that recognises the role of the resource management sector as a real engine of economic growth, to counterbalance the influence of local lobby groups and environmental non-governmental organisations. While everyone wants to recycle, nobody wants it in their back yard. The Government has made a clear commitment to support economic growth, sometimes in the face of opposition from those who would like it to happen ‘somewhere else’.
Chris Dow, chief executive, Closed Loop
I predict that we will see the introduction of a MRF Code of Practice. The argument is very strong that Lord De Mauley will embrace a review of the PRN system, and we will see continued increasing collection rates. We should embrace the plastics recycling targets and see them as a great opportunity for the industry to grow and develop. Let’s face it - as a result of these targets there will be more material available for recycling and they go to the very heart of attracting investment to the sector, allowing us to produce the green jobs and develop the green economy. We have a clear path laid down by the new targets.