News in Brief - 17/12/2020

New green waste charging service gets nearly 7000 sign-ups in Stafford

Nearly 7000 households in Stafford Borough Council (SBC) have signed up to have their garden waste collected in 2021, after it was announced that residents will now have to opt into the service, which will cost £36 a year.

Households in the area can sign up for the service online, to continue receiving fortnightly collection of their brown bin by the council’s recycling and waste contractor, Veolia.

This does represent a significant drop from 56,000 households receiving a garden waste service in 2018/19.  As a result, this change is expected to save the council around £900,000 annually, which it hopes to put towards protecting other key services in the local community.

A spokesperson for the Borough Council said: “Residents have until the end of this year if they want to sign up to continue receiving their brown bin collection service from January - but you can also register at any point during the year.

“Please go to our website to sign up, find further information, and where there are also answers to many of the questions we have been asked regarding the change.” 

DS Smith announces 54 per cent decrease in profits

DS Smith has released its latest half-year results, which saw a 54 per cent decrease in pre-tax profit to £97 million. Revenue is also down by 9 per cent to £2.89 billion, with the packaging company citing the continued effects of the pandemic as a major contributing factor.

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said: “Q1 was particularly impacted by Covid-19, but pleasingly we saw real momentum in corrugated box volumes and profitability through Q2 and into H2, together with continued excellent cash flow generation.”

DS Smith has noted changes in its business practices during the Covid-19 pandemic, experiencing a rise in its customers’ use of its e-commerce channel.

Sales from its e-commerce channel have grown from 19 per cent to a peak of 34 per cent through the year, with the company now working with customers to further develop its e-commerce service.

DS Smith now expects the increase in online shopping to see paper packaging becomes a greater feature of domestic recycling.

“We are excited as ever about the structural growth drivers for corrugated packaging with a number of trends accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.” Roberts continued.

"While the economic and political environment remains uncertain due to Covid-19 and Brexit, we see continued momentum for our business, underpinning confidence in continued performance in line with our expectations for the year."

Carpet Recycling UK holds awards ceremony for textiles sector

Saint Flooring won the Take Back Partner of the Year Award in the Carpet Recycling UK 2020 Awards for Good Practice for success in working with the supply chain to recycle post-installation offcuts from the newbuild housing sector.
Held online this year, the awards recognise the important achievements and contributions by members – both individuals and organisations – who continue to advance the sustainability of their business within the carpet, rug and textile flooring sector, and seek to help use carpet, carpet tile and other textile flooring waste as a resource in the circular economy.

The company, which diverted 250 tonnes of waste carpet from landfill in 2020, was Highly Commended in the Recycling Champion category. Among other Highly Commended members are Designer Contracts and Bath Contract Flooring.

Finance Director at Saint Flooring David Heafey said: “I feel absolutely elated with the award as it ‘rubber stamps’ the success of our take back project implemented last year. It is testament to all the hard work over the last 12 months.

“Across the group, we’re saving around £150,000 to £170,000 annually on skips and waste costs by recycling carpet, as well as underlay, cardboard and polythene. Carpet Recycling UK supported us throughout and our membership helped us to find partners to recycle the carpet.”

Carpet Recycling UK Manager Adnan Zeb-Khan said: “We were really motivated by the variety and depth of the entries, up by 20% this year, including one from our Australian member GT Recycling. As the ‘go-to’ organisation for sustainability issues relating to circular design and end of life waste outlets for textile flooring, we will continue to represent our members’ interests and advance sustainability within the sector.”

New compliance scheme aims to give battery recycling and cancer research a boost

The latest recycling compliance scheme, run by Ecosurety, will be donating money to Cancer Research UK for every tonne of batteries collected.

As of today (17 December), the public can now drop off used batteries at the 600 Cancer Research shops throughout the UK which will then be collected by Ecosurety. For every tonne that is collected, Ecosurety will donate £100 to Cancer Research UK.

Both companies will run social media campaigns early next year to raise awareness of the new scheme.

Commenting on the new collaboration, Sue Nolan, Procurement Manager at Ecosurety said “Through this collaboration, we’re creating over 600 new battery collection points across the country, whilst simultaneously raising consumer awareness of the importance of household battery recycling.

“By taking used batteries to one of the collection points at a Cancer Research UK store, customers  can help mitigate the environmental damage that batteries cause whilst helping to raise funds for a vitally important charity.”

Josephine Mewett, Head of Retail Operations at Cancer Research UK, says: “Twenty two million items were given another lease of life when purchased by our customers last year. As well as raising vital funds to beat cancer, we’re extremely proud of the role our stores play in driving more people to reuse and recycle.

“We’re delighted to have the expertise and support of Ecosurety to help us build on that work by making it easier for 600 communities across the UK to recycle their batteries and beat cancer at the same time.”

Survey finds that lack of infrastructure is holding Brits back from on-the-go recycling

LUCID polling agency in association with Every Can Counts, a partnership that promotes recycling in the drinks industry, have revealed that more than 94 per cent of British people would like to see more on-the-go recycling points installed in public places.

Their survey found that although 89 per cent claimed to recycle drinks packaging while at home, only 41 per cent can do this while out in public. 58 per cent of those surveyed blamed this on lack of infrastructure.

Rick Hindley, director of Every Can Counts, commented: “While it’s hugely positive news to hear that the general public are committed to recycling at home, a perceived lack of sufficient infrastructure in public spaces is proving seemingly damaging to national packaging recycling rates.

“Alongside investing in more on-the-go recycling points, we need to ensure that packaging is quick and easy to recycle.

“Aluminium drink cans are the perfect example. Made from a completely circular, highly- valuable, single-source material, they can be recycled an infinite number of times. These qualities are the reason why drink cans are both widely and easily recycled; attributes which in turn make recycling easier for everyone.

“Ensuring the public understands the importance and value of recycling is imperative. While improving infrastructure is essential, we need people to know exactly why they should recycle – whether at home or on-the-go.”

The results also showed that 82 per cent believed there’s a need for more to be done in general to encourage people to recycle.