Green Week on Place North West, published in association with the Environment Agency, Envirolink Northwest and Hill Dickinson
▼Dave Forster, Environment Agency
Whatever sector, your key consideration when it comes to waste is one of prevention and, if unavoidable, reuse or recycle.
For the construction sector the recent introduction of Site Waste Management Plans will go along way to achieving this. Although recycling now exceeds 50% of the construction waste produced nationally, 20 million tonnes is still heading to landfill.
The biggest driver will be those clients, particularly in retail, who are now seeing the business opportunity to set and achieve their own zero waste to landfill targets for new and redevelopment projects.
The EU and government are seeking opportunities to bring domestic and commercial waste management closer together, while reducing the amount that goes into landfill.
In the North West our local authorities have attracted almost £11 billion in public finance initiatives to manage our regions waste for the next 20 to 25 years. In order to meet targets whilst rising to the challenge of reducing the industries carbon footprint, this investment will see an increase in more diverse local infrastructure, including:
- household waste sites
- anaerobic digestion
- materials recycling
- alternative fuel manufacture
- energy from waste
All are part of the planned investment mix, the scale and location of which being determined through local planning decision making.
Working with the government's Waste & Resource Action Programme (WRAP) the Environment Agency is seeking to establish national recyclate quality standard as we already have for aggregates and may other materials.
Dave Forster is waste strategy manager at the Environment Agency