No more unnecessary bins: Veolia UK pleads for pragmatic waste collection

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London, UK — According to the EU’s revised Waste Framework Directive, every waste collection authority must have separate collections for waste paper, metal, plastic and glass wherever this is ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ (TEEP). This is in addition to food and gardening or ‘organic’ waste and non-recyclable or ‘black bag’ waste. UK environmental services leader Veolia yesterday called for a pragmatic approach to waste collection when new EU regulations are implemented in January 2015 with a New YouGov survey indicating public support for Veolia position.

Richard Kirkman, Veolia’s Technical Director, said: “Veolia is as committed to recycling as the EU, it’s our business, but we want to ensure the new EU laws are viable for the public and practical for residents. Some reprocessors are trying to put measures in place that could cause a rise of up to 19 bins on UK doorsteps! With modern technology, paper, metal and plastic can all be separated post-collection to the required standard. The public are very supportive of recycling, but we must make it easy for them.”

Veolia is calling for a nationwide policy of ‘no more unnecessary bins’. To keep it simple consumers would be asked to separate waste into glass, organic waste, other recyclable waste, and black bag waste.

According to a new YouGov survey of over 2,500 adults, 69 per cent of the British public think households shouldn’t be expected to separate their rubbish into more than four bins, only 12 per cent consider six or more bins reasonable. Sixty percent already separate out glass and a further 35 per cent are willing to do so; 55 per cent separate out organic waste and a further 36 per cent are willing to do so.

The survey reveals a high level of commitment to recycling, with 94 per cent of people saying it’s important and 92 per cent separating out their recyclable waste. People are also roadly supportive of higher EU targets: 38 per cent say the current target is too low and only 8 per cent say it’s too high. The EU recently proposed raising the target for recycling household waste from 50 per cent by 2020 to 70 per cent by 2030.

Source: Veolia Environmental Services (UK)