88 per cent of Kent recyclates remain in UK

Kent Resource Partnership (KRP), a partnership between 13 district and borough councils, published its ‘End Destinations of Recycling Charter’ statistics yesterday (9 December) in a move hailed for its ‘detail and transparency’.

The report, ‘KRP Materials, End Destinations 2012/13’, shows that 88 per cent of all household recyclates tonnage in Kent (689,119.86 tonnes) remained within the UK. The majority – 71.78 per cent – stayed within Kent itself. Also listed in the report are tonnages related to specific companies in Kent and countries of destination for materials going out of the UK from Kent.

‘Better insights than ever before’

Councillor Paul Barrington-King, Chairman of KRP, said: “The level of detail and transparency in our EDR charter publication is provided so Kent residents can have better insights than ever before on where their discarded items go. I’m delighted so much household resource stays in Kent, in line with the proximity principle. Our EDR Charter experience is completely positive and we recommend more councils consider the benefits of becoming signatories as we have done.”

Dan Rogerson, Minister for Resource Management, added: “The government supports companies and councils who are transparent about end destinations of recyclates. I welcome these publications by the Kent Resource Partnership, which are clear advancements in taking forward the Resource Association’s End Destination of Recyclates Charter.”

Andy Doran, Chair of the Resource Association, which created the charter, said: “The Resource Association welcomes the release of the Kent Resource Partnership’s end destination information and congratulates them on being among the first signatories to meet the first milestone for publication. We hope their valued effort acts as an encouragement for others in local government to follow suit and make the necessary step change in transparency, as wanted by the public. Industry and councils alike can only benefit from being clearer with the public about what happens to their recycling and where it goes.”


Report specifics

In addition to the headline statistics of recyclate destinations, figures were further broken down in the report. Regarding resource destinations, 41.03 per cent was sent for recycling or composting, 35.57 per cent to electricity from waste (EfW), 21.05 per cent was landfilled and the remaining 2.35 per cent is accounted as ‘recycled rubble’.

KRP’s ‘strategic ambition’ is to have less than 10 per cent of household waste going to landfill by 2015/16 and less than five per cent by 2020/21.

In terms of recycling, KRP aims to compost or recycle 45 per cent of household waste by 2015 and 50 per cent by 2020 as part of the national target.

Currently, Ashford Borough Council boasts the highest proportion of recycling processed in Kent (97.8 per cent), whilst Dover Council is responsible for sending the lowest proportion abroad (0.35 per cent).

Canterbury Council sends the majority (57.14 per cent) of its recyclates to landfill, in comparison with Maidstone’s 10.99 per cent to landfill. 

Waste companies

In Kent, there are 97 UK registered companies involved in recyclates management, with the top 10 handling 81.6 per cent of Kent tonnage. 

The top three firms were Kent Enviropower Ltd (EfW), which handled 35.5 per cent of Kent’s capacity (245,156.54 tonnes). This is followed by Viridor (landfill), which handled 114,208.21 tonnes, or 16.57 per cent of total Kent tonnage. Countryside Recycling dealt with 57,463.57 tonnes of recyclates, or 8.34 per cent; unlike the other firms, Countryside Recycling sent all of its tonnage outside Kent and the UK – to Belgium (20,686.89 tonnes) and Sweden (36,776.68 tonnes) for processing.

Recyclates abroad

Of the 11.73 per cent of Kent’s recyclates sent abroad, ‘mixed cans, mixed paper and mixed plastic bottles’ were sent to:

Indonesia (5,489,25 tonnes by Viridor);

China (2,437.36 tonnes by Viridor and 1,771.79 tonnes by Ideal Waste Paper Co.);

India (852.93 tonnes by Viridor and 9.35 tonnes by Veolia);

the Netherlands (643.34 tonnes by Viridor and 18.70 tonnes by Veolia);

Germany (324.31 tonnes by Viridor);

France (39.13 tonnes by Viridor);

Macau (11.26 tonnes by Viridor);

and Hong Kong (4.57 tonnes by Viridor and 65.44 tonnes by Veolia).

Valpak sent 1,597.41 tonnes of mixed glass to Portugal, while several thousand tonnes also went to ‘unspecified’ destinations, and 5,139.77 tonnes were described as ‘Other WasteDataFlow Recycling Tonnage’.

Read more about the Resource Association’s End Destination Charter