40% of small firms breaking waste disposal laws

Nearly half of all micro-businesses admit to using local council household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) because they are more cost effective, according to a Defra study.

Speaking at a conference in London this week, WRAP’s head of collections & quality Linda Crichton said the study on local authority provision for business waste found that around 40% of small firms were abusing the system by using HWRCs.

Crichton urged councils to increase the range of recycling services available to their local business communities to avoid misuse of the centres.

“It’s all about improving access for services for your business community and in turn helping to support the local economy by making available services locally that they can draw upon,” she said.

“At a local level it really depends on resource facilities and the ability for local authorities to integrate business waste at existing sites.”

Crichton added that officially opening up the centres for local businesses may help to legitimise the activity.

Meanwhile WRAP’s recycling collections advisor Helen Bird said a carrot and stick approach was needed to encourage businesses to recycle more and crack down on misuse.

“Without enforcement at HWRCs, and monitoring the commercial use of collection services, in some cases it is going to be very difficult to get businesses to pay,” she said.

Nick Warburton

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