SUEZ recycling and recovery UK released a Waste Prevention Guide last week. The guide aims to empower local authorities' role at the forefront of waste prevention within their communities. CEO of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, John Scanlon, said, ‘this is an opportunity for local authorities to be the changemakers in our society.’
This year’s guide builds on the waste management company’s 2022 ‘Stuff of Life’ report that highlighted the problems created by consumerism. This year’s guide focuses on solutions, including case studies from local authorities and showcasing activities that can positively impact waste management.
This report outlines the key opportunities for local authorities to engage with their departments internally and to work collaboratively with businesses and their communities, to use less and cut waste, with activities that benefit all areas of a triple bottom line – communities, the environment and the economy.
SUEZ recognized a clear public desire to act on environmental issues which prompted them to create the guide. The Recycling Tracker, the largest and longest-running survey on recycling attitudes, reported in their 2021 spring survey that 9 in 10 UK households say they ‘regularly’ recycle. However, despite this desire, the same 2021 survey found that 85% of households put one or more items in the recycling that are not accepted locally. SUEZ said steps towards decarbonisation need to go past recycling, with education in reducing waste for consumers and businesses, and changing buying habits as other aspects local authorities need to work on.
There are four key recommendations for local authorities in the report. From making waste and recycling services readily available and accessible to households and businesses, working collaboratively with the local community, to understanding what interventions align with organisational priorities.
We hope this report provides guidance on how we can all make better decisions to contribute to the UK’s net zero target and lead the circular economy.