Youth Hostel Association aims for 70% recycling rate

The UK Youth Hostel Association (YHA) is looking to dramatically improve recycling levels across its hostel network by streamlining its waste management operations.


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The YHA has appointed SWR to provide a complete waste management solution for 154 of its sites across the UK, from inner city hostels to rural camping barns.

Combined waste from these sites amounts to around 1,200 tonnes per year and includes a mix of glass, cardboard, bottles, cans, paper and plastics.

The partnership will help the YHA improve its environmental performance, boosting boost overall recycling levels from 10% to almost 70% across all sites. SWR will also help the charity with its internal marketing campaign to promote the new waste service to staff.

YHA’s safety, health, environment and quality assurance officer, Martin Trouse, said: “Due to the extreme geographical spread of our sites, we have, until now, been unable to find a waste company able to provide a cohesive waste service.

“We were using a number of different waste contractors across the country to deal with the various waste streams at each site. This was proving a time consuming and complicated process to manage.

“We also struggled to achieve any consistency in the service we were receiving, which in turn made it very difficult to achieve any consistency in our recycling performance.”  

Under the new deal, SWR will simplify the process and help YHA achieve cost savings of 17% over three years.

SWR CEO, Giles Whiteley, said: “We will roll out a coordinated waste plan for each site as existing individual waste contracts expire.

“This will involve installing the most appropriate type and quantity of containers at each site, all of which will be clearly labelled to make it easy for staff and visitors to separate their waste more effectively.”

Maxine Perella

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