Resource Use

SUEZ says the public generates £150m worth of waste when moving home

A survey conducted by waste management company SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has revealed that – while the English public could be disposing of up to £150 million worth of items every year when moving home – there is a desire to move towards a circular economy.  

Waste when moving homeSUEZ surveyed 1,000 people who have moved home over the past 12 months and found that people are throwing away an average of around £85 (£83.78) worth of possessions during the moving process. The latest figures from the English Housing Survey show that 1.8 million people moved home in the past 12 months.

Attitudes around waste when moving home

Over half (51 per cent) of those surveyed said that they fixed broken or damaged goods rather than throwing them away during their last move. 91 per cent of respondents said that when replacing or buying additional items for the home they actively seek our previously used – ‘preloved’ – items.

The research showed a desire from the public to move away from a throw-away culture – with a lack of time (44 per cent), the cost of repair services (44 per cent), and a lack of knowledge or skills to repair items (39 per cent) being cited as reasons respondents didn’t consider repairing their items.

The research further demonstrates that the majority (55 per cent) of respondents feel it would help them if they had access to further information about repair and reuse services, creating an opportunity for councils to support the re-use and repair movement in their local areas, complementing efforts and initiatives by the government, the third sector, and private organisations.

SUEZ is calling on local councils to enhance the accessibility of reuse and repair services within their communities by providing greater access to information

Sarah Ottaway, Sustainability and Social Value Lead at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, commented: “Moving home is becoming increasingly expensive – even before you consider the cost of disposing of, replacing, and buying new items.

“The circular economy empowers consumers to not only cut waste but save money by getting the most out of the items they already have and choosing pre-loved items when looking for something new for their home. It’s great to see the research reveal a genuine desire by Brits to extend the life of their belongings.

“To meet this demand, we're proactively engaging with councils to share our knowledge and insights through regular webinars, meetings and site visits. The goal of our work is to promote re-use and repair and ultimately, support councils to achieve more sustainable outcomes for their communities.”

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