9 October 2018 by Joshua Doherty

Cuts to HWRCs will ‘significantly’ hit recycling

A YouGov survey for FCC Environment has found that further reductions in services at Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) could “significantly affect recycling rates”.

The poll for FCC Environment, which runs 96 HWRCs for 24 local authorities, showed that around a quarter of people visit their HWRC at least every month, and 64% have used it in the last year.

The results further showed that spending on HWRCs is more important to residents than recycling collections and even street lighting. The company also pointed to Circular Economy package, stating that the YouGov research indicated that HWRCs “truly are the front line for recycling for the majority of people, and reducing services further could significantly affect recycling rates”, at a time when the Circular Economy package is determining ever higher targets.

FCC Environment’s refurbished recycling center in Trowbridge

Commenting on the release of the statistics, Steve Longdon, regional director for FCC Environment, said: “How a council manages its HWRCs has wide impacts on the community, from encouraging ever more recycling to supporting local charities with repair and upcycling schemes.”

Mr Longdon added:  “This Yougov poll shows clearly that residents really value local facilities and moreover they are valuable community assets. Residents have increasingly high expectations when it comes to recycling and re-use at HWRCs so let’s harness that enthusiasm and put residents at the heart of developing such resources to maximise reduced budgets and the use-experience.”

The survey also highlighted the postcode lottery of HWRC provision, with some people saying their local HWRC was “excellent” or “efficient” while others reported a long wish list calling for many services.

Pricing

Alongside the poll, FCC Environment shared some of the updates from its new pricing and re-use strategy it introduced a year ago.

“At re3 HWRCs [run in partnership by Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham borough councils and FCC Environment], non-household waste is charged for by volume or the number of items, rather than by vehicle type.

Bracknell Forest’s executive member for environment, Cllr Dorothy Hayes MBE said the new charging structure was “fairer, more cost-effective and efficient”.

Upcycling

FCC’s upcycling shop in partnership with Wigan Borough Council and local charity The Brick sells salvaged, repaired and refurbished items to help ease poverty for homeless people in Wigan.

FCC Environment workers at a HWRC site the company operates

Also, a partnership between Barnsley Council, Cycle Penistone and FCC Environment recovers bicycles from HWRCs to repair, rent and sell them at affordable prices.

The programme also supports an apprenticeship scheme and employs five part-time staff.

Jill Bramall, director or Cycle Penistone,  said: “The launch of the recycling scheme through partnership with the household waste recycling centres has been one of the best thing to happen for Cycle Penistone CIC and I’m sure most of the customers who buy the bikes would say the same.”

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