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Progress on Stewart's drive to harmonise collections

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The second phase of an attempt to bring greater consistency to household waste and recycling collections in England is underway, WRAP has announced.

Issues under consideration are the consistency of materials for recycling, including food waste; the potential to rationalise collections around three main systems; and standardised containers appropriate for different types of housing.

The harmonisation initiative has been a personal interest for resources minister Rory Stewart. He commissioned WRAP to bring together representatives from local authorities, waste management contractors, recyclers, producers and the retail sector.

WRAP says it is the first time an attempt has been made to consider the overall journey taken by consumer products and packaging.

Director Marcus Gover said: “We are looking to develop a vision for England that will offer local authorities a way to recycle greater volumes of higher quality materials while reducing costs, delivering good services to residents and supporting growth in the recycling sector.

“It won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution, and we want to work with local authorities to demonstrate the business case for change.

“All parts of the value chain have a role to play in achieving greater consistency and improving recycling.”

Stewart said “great progress” had been made.

“I urge the whole waste sector to work together with us in the coming years to deliver greater consistency in the way we recycle. The work by WRAP will eventually mean everyone across the country will be clear on what and how they can recycle.”

The first phase of the project considered a range of scenarios, models and different approaches to consistency and areas for further investigation.

These will now be taken forward by the advisory group and form the second phase, which will lead to the publication this summer of a vision for greater consistency in collections, what it means for England and the opportunities for stakeholders.

The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), a member of the WRAP steering group, said Stewart’s leadership had been “enormously welcome”.

Chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “Delivering greater consistency in waste collections would make recycling easier for families across the country, and help to improve recycling rates – particularly where separate food waste collections are provided.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the advisory group and our members across the AD industry in phase two, ensuring that more food waste can be recycled as energy and fertiliser.”

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