2 April 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Associations sympathise with councils as services cut

Two separate associations in the recycling industry have said they sympathise with local authorities having to make difficult decisions on recycling services.  

Last week, councils announced that they would close household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs), while some also stopped recycling collections due to staff shortages. 

Recycling centres across the country have been shut (library picture)

On the back of this, both the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) and the Recycling Association issued statements on behalf of their respective industries.  

Wood

As reported by letsrecyle.com, the WRA urged the government to re-open HWRCs for waste wood “as soon as is practical”, and to ensure waste wood is given a “priority status for collection and recycling”. 

On Twitter, Lee Marshall, chief executive of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), issued the below statement. 

In response, to this, Andy Hill, chair of the WRA, emphasised the WRA’s stance, stating that while it would like the sites reopened as soon as possible, this should only be when it is practical and safe to do so.

“We are incredibly sympathetic to the extremely challenging situation waste management companies and local authorities are in”

Andy Hill, WRA chair

“The WRA fully appreciates and understands the reasons why HWRCs have been shut and we are incredibly sympathetic to the extremely challenging situation waste management companies and local authorities are in. What we are actually asking is for them to re-open as soon as is reasonably practical with the necessary safeguards in place, and that when they are reopened waste wood is given a priority. It’s disappointing that our message has been taken out of context at this time. It goes without saying that we should all respect the current restrictions and practice safe distancing. 

“Waste wood plays an important role, as do many other waste streams, in keeping industries functioning and this is simply a recognition of that. We have received some very positive responses from many stakeholders including waste management companies, MPs, councillors and local authorities as well as our members, and are working with them to see if there are other ways in which the flow of waste wood can be restored sooner rather than later.” 

Recycling Association

 On the same day, the Recycling Association also called on Defra to ensure recycling collections from households are maintained during the coronavirus pandemic (see letsrecycle.com story). 

The association wrote to Defra stating that recycling collections should continue or there is a risk less material would be available to produce vital packaging needed to protect food and medical supplies.

In another tweet, Mr Marshall said councils are doing “all they can”.

In response on Twitter, Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, said: “We do empathise with the great work being done by councils and collection crews and that was reflected in the story.

“We just wanted to make sure that essential food and medical supply manufacturers are able to access the vital materials they need to keep us fed and healthy.

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