A call for a realignment of responsibility for waste management, mirroring the Greater Manchester public/private partnership, has been issued by Viridor which says the current arrangement is no longer fit for purpose.
The company has issued a paper urging “a new and ambitious model that moves resource management beyond local authority boundaries, realising the economic potential for British business, manufacturers and public sector bodies”.
The paper argues that an ‘aggregated services’ model is vital to realise the business, productivity and employment benefits of a developing circular economy. Viridor has produced a different version for Scotland.
Chris Jonas, director of business development at Viridor, said: “Resource policy in England stands at a crossroads. While progress in recycling has been a real UK success story up to a point, we now face a future with the potential for significant success or substantial failure.”
Viridor calls its waste partnership with local authorities in Manchester a ”resource network” – Europe’s largest public/private alliance which has attracted inward investment from manufacturers and “contributes significantly to decentralised energy provision”.
Jonas said that resource networks across England could boost business, build better regulation, improve productivity and create up to half a million jobs.
“By contrast, retaining outdated policy and systems based on outdated assumptions will do little other than reinforce linear waste management systems that were designed for a bygone era, when collections were based on geographic areas and an overall objective of reducing transport and disposal costs,” he said.
“Even now, decisions about collections, contracts and infrastructure are often still based on arbitrary political boundaries by authorities and organisations not focused on the value of resources to the UK economy.
“This situation is made worse by the current pressures on local authority funding, which mean that even existing recycling systems are being undermined.
“Our paper calls for decisive action, and illustrates how fully integrated resource networks, focused on the availability of high-quality materials rather than local authority boundaries, would have a huge impact in delivering a truly circular economy.”