Steel recycling boost from PRN windfall

Profits from the sale of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) have been used to improve steel recovery by recycling giant Corus.

Corus Steel Packaging Recycling has released its annual PRN report, Targeting Recycling which outlines how the company has reinvested in both research and practical solutions to try to improve recycling rates for cans.

Stimulating steel recycling would, of course, boost the company's profits as well as reducing waste and lead to the more efficient use of materials.

Operations such as canning factories are legally obliged to hold PRNs to show a share of the waste they are responsible for has been recovered and recycled.

The notes are authorised by the Environment Agency but issued by accredited companies like Corus, which take the waste and recycle it.

Research supported by Corus over the past year has shown that a huge amount of steel could be recovered from energy-from-waste incinerators, kerbside recycling schemes have a huge untapped potential and is key to any further increase in steel can recycling rates.

PRN profits have also been invested in recycling infrastructure and establishing new waste routes throughout the country.

John May, manager at Corus said: "There has been a significant increase in the level of steel can recycling in 2004, which has seen the level of steel packaging recycled reach 46%.

"This is very positive, however, there is still potential to increase this activity further.

"Corus will continue to invest PRN revenue to keep this momentum going.

"Strategic planning is a key element of this so, as well as investing in the UK's recycling infrastructure, the next 12 months will see a shift towards an emphasis on participation.

"We need to work with local authorities to help raise householders' awareness of the recyclability of steel and to encourage participation."

By Sam Bond




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