Councils encouraged to buy recycled for quick win
Local authorities could take a significant step towards meeting their sustainability targets by simply switching to suppliers who provide recycled materials.The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published new guidance for councils to help promote a more eco-friendly resource management.
"Councils could be missing out on very simple ways to dramatically improve resource efficiency at no extra cost across a range of procurement activities, as well as overlooking significant potential cost savings in some cases," said WRAP's procurement programme manager David Moon.
Developed by WRAP, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), the guidance is targeted at councillors in England with responsibility for scrutiny, sustainability or procurement.
It provides advice on how councillors can shape procurement strategy to be more sustainable at no extra cost and offers practical examples of how to improve resource efficiency by specifying higher recycled content in goods, works and services.
"Specifying recycled is an effective quick win," said Mr Moon.
"It enables councils to measure and improve their contribution to sustainable development, stimulate local and regional markets for recycled materials, and increase the value of the recyclables collected by local authorities."
The focus of the guidance is on construction, highways maintenance, estates management and printed materials and provides real-life examples of the benefits of specifying recycled.
Among the case studies and suggestions in the guide are:
Good Practice Guide: Procurement and the efficient use of material resources is available on the WRAP website.
Additional versions written specifically for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be available shortly.
By Sam Bond