WRAP funding to support business waste recycling

WRAP logo£1 million of funding has been announced to support business waste recycling in England.

The money comes as part of the Resource Action Fund, an £18-million investment bundle administered by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Grants of between £25,000 and £170,000 will be available for projects that are working to increase the collection and recycling of ‘household-like waste from businesses’, with the aim of encouraging organisations to provide new or improved recycling services and infrastructure. Household-like waste refers to waste from businesses that’s similar to the type of waste produced by households, such as food, paper, packaging and other recyclables.

Organisations of any size are eligible to apply for capital investment for ‘tangible assets’ that can be proven to increase levels of non-household municipal waste recycling, such as loading and sorting equipment, weigh bridges, vehicles, wheelie bins or modifications to existing sorting and recycling facilities.

This is only the latest in a series of funding pots from the government aiming to stimulate better waste management in England. Launched in May this year, the Resource Action Fund offers large- and small-scale grants to projects in England in the field of resource efficiency. Other grants available from this fund include the Plastics Packaging and Textiles Recycling Grant, which closes on 2 August, and two Food Waste Prevention grants, for which the deadlines have now closed.

In October last year, Defra also launched a £15-million fund to reduce food waste, focusing on the redistribution of surplus food from producers to charities helping people in need.

While household waste has occupied many of the headline policies of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, with key policy proposals focusing on changes to kerbside recycling systems, waste from businesses is a significant contributor to the country’s overall environmental footprint.

However, as is noted in the Strategy, ‘currently the only business waste data for England comes from a patchwork of sources, including returns from permitted sites, voluntary initiatives and costly one-off surveys. These datasets are time-consuming and challenging to combine because they have different scopes, purpose and coverage.’

The government has said it will consult on the introduction of mandatory reporting of food waste for businesses of an ‘appropriate’ size, which would go some way towards improving knowledge about the impact of businesses.

The closing date for applications to WRAP’s Non-Household Municipal Waste Business grant is 1pm on 4 September 2019.

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