UK waste and recycling sector set to grow


The UK waste management and recycling sector is set to grow by seven per cent by 2014, according to Environment Minister, Richard Benyon.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (11 December), Benyon said that government officials had predicted an increase of 3.0 per cent and 3.9 per cent for waste management sales and recovery and recycling respectively, in the 2012-2013 financial year.

Similar growth is expected over the course of the 2013-2014 financial year, with figures of 3.1 per cent and 4.0 per cent likely to be attained.

Benyon announced these figures in response to a written question posed by Shadow Environment Minister, Gavin Shuker, who queried  the ‘likely levels of growth in the waste sector in the next 12 months’.

The Environment Minister said that the waste and recycling sector employed between 104,000 and 150,000 people and was worth in excess of £12 billion to the UK economy over the course of the 2010-2011 financial year.

In his written response, Benyon said: ‘The 2011 Review of Waste Policy in England sets us on the path towards a zero-waste economy where materials are valued and nothing of value is discarded. It will support the sector's transition from focusing on disposal to landfill to greater reuse, recycling and recovery of waste material.’

This shows that the waste management and recycling sector is growing despite the fact, according to the Autumn statement 2012, the UK economy is predicted to have contracted by 0.1 per cent in 2012.

Indeed, employment growth in the waste and water sector has found to be increasing ahead of UK averages, having increased by 8.2 per cent on last year, second only to the mining and quarrying sector (19.9 per cent).

The figures, published in the December 2012 Labour Market Statistics report (for the period August-October 2012) , published yesterday (12 December), showed that the number of employees in the ‘Water supply, sewerage, waste & remediation activities’ sector stood at 203,000, in September, compared to 177,000 in the same period last year. 

Read more about the Autumn Statement 2012 and Labour Market Stastics report.