Study seeks to ease SME recycling

A series of trials will try to identify the hurdles that hinder effective recycling for small businesses, and how they might be overcome.

Historically small and medium-sized companies have often found it difficult to recycle for a number of reasons.

They may not have the resources to organise and manage recycling schemes and asking a waste management company to take their recyclable materials can be prohibitively expensive due to a lack of cost effectiveness for small scale collections.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is calling for companies keen to carry out a feasibility study which will deliver a series of trials collecting recyclables from SMEs that do not currently receive such a service.

This will be the second round of trials, the first having focused on identifying problems while this one will look more closely at solutions.

The trials will evaluate a range of factors involved in SME recycling collections, including geographical location, collection and communication techniques and financial models.

“We know what the problems are, or at least have a good idea. The trials are about trying to find solutions,” Josephine Abbott, WRAP’s project manager for SME recycling, told edie.

“We trying to develop schemes to resolve these issues.”

“The first round of feasibility studies has highlighted both the fact that many SMEs are enthusiastic about the idea of being able to recycle at work, and that recycling companies are keen to branch out into this area.

“We hope that this second round of studies will allow us to provide more recycling services to small businesses and make the case for them boosting their resource efficiency and helping them to make a valuable environmental contribution.”

The studies will look at finance structure and frequency of collection, and issues such as whether on-site storage and less frequent collections might be appropriate, or collect-on-demand rather than regular visits.

Ms Abbott said she was hoping trials would start at the end of September or beginning of October, and carry on through to May 2007.

WRAP is particularly interested in receiving proposals to develop appropriate recycling services for SMEs in the construction, demolition and refurbishment sector, to develop collection and recycling services for commercial food waste and to develop location-specific services for example at business parks and industrial estates.

Other proposals for appropriate SME recycling collection services to other sectors including offices, retail and wholesale, hotels, pubs, restaurants and glaziers, will also be considered.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, July 18 at 12.30pm and Expressions of Interest Documents can be obtained from the WRAP website

Sam Bond

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