White paper calls for performance targets to drive zero waste

A leading waste contractor wants review performance targets introduced for local authorities and businesses to check that they are "recycling the right materials from a climate change perspective".

The recommendation is one of a series of measures SITA UK has outlined under its white paper for a zero waste society. The document Achieving the vision of no more waste released today (22 June), urges a fundamental rethink of how resources are managed in the UK.

The paper details a ‘circular economy’ in which resource and energy use, production, consumption and waste management are locked into a virtuous circle. Within this circle, each component of the supply chain works in tandem with each other, underpinned by an integrated policy framework.

Under this economy, the document states the principle policy drivers should be value recovery and market creation. The role of waste management is to “collect, treat and return secondary resources and recovered energy back into the cycle of production and consumption”.

Besides performance targets, SITA believes source-separation should apply for commercial and industrial streams as it does for household waste, and that producer responsibility should be extended to a wider range of consumer products.

The paper also homes in on product use and manufacture, calling for mandatory green public procurement targets, wider use of eco-labelling, a minimum requirement for recycled content in selected products. It also suggests a mechanism to reward businesses and the waste sector for any greenhouse gas emission savings they make when using recycled materials.

Maxine Perella

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