Waste from UK services industry will overtake manufacturing for first time

Waste arisings from the commercial services sector are due to overtake those from industrial manufacture for the first time, according to a report released today (September 13).

The change mirrors the shift in the UK economy from manufacturing to service industries where the waste industry has seen a significant fall in industrial waste arisings over the past decade. Rising landfill tax levels and improved operational efficiency within manufacturing companies have also played a key part.

The report Rubbish Economy was commissioned by RWM in partnership with CIWM, and research undertaken by environmental consultancy Urban Mines. Launching the report at the Birmingham NEC today, Urban Mines' managing director, Peter Scholes said that it "was clear that commercial waste arisings are a focus for the future".

He said: "For the first time, commercial waste will exceed that produced by industry. We expect to see fewer tonnes of traditional industrial waste such as sludges and chemicals, but potentially an increase in commercial waste like recyclables and similar materials."

He added that within the C&I sector, recycling and composting seemed to be the preferred choice for diversion, with those services experiencing strong growth compared to energy-from-waste and thermal treatment options, which remained relatively static.

"The increase in commercial recycling continues to present a significant opportunity to capture those recyclables going through the residual stream as they account for roughly 40% of the total waste. There are plenty of opportunities for more source-segregation to separate out these materials," he said.

Breaking down the commercial sector further, Scholes said there was still a considerable amount of residual waste going to landfill from retail and wholesale operations. He maintained that there was plenty of scope for more infrastructure to serve the SME market: "40% of total waste arisings in this sector are generated by companies that employ 20 people or less."

Maxine Perella


| energy from waste | Retail | manufacturing


Waste & resource management

Click a keyword to see more stories on that topic, view related news, or find more related items.


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Don't have an account? Set one up right now in seconds!

© Faversham House Ltd 2011. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.