Resource London has been working intensively with London’s waste authorities to better understand how the financial and performance implications of contamination in the recycling stream are assessed. Feedback showed that, although authorities are suffering the impacts of contamination, there is no consistent approach to measuring its full cost.
Many authorities are only taking into account additional gate fees for contaminated recycling, rather than looking at a full range of other operational costs, and only a minority are reporting financial impacts to members.
“LARAC was delighted to be involved in the development of the toolkit, as identifying the true cost of contamination is a pertinent issue for every waste collection authority. We would encourage our members to use it.”
Resource London and LEDNET commissioned Anthesis (a specialist sustainability consultancy) to develop the toolkit and worked with a group of individual local authorities, LARAC, WRAP and the ESA to agree the structure and functionality of the toolkit.
The purpose of the Cost of Contamination Toolkit is to:
- Calculate the true cost of contamination in the recycling stream – for example, the cost of communication or extra contractor costs
- Provide officers with evidence to secure internal resources and funding to help tackle the issue
- Provide in-depth service information for reporting to members
Beverley Simonson, Local Authority Support Manager, Resource London, said:
“Capturing high quality material is at the heart of all local authority recycling services, but all too often material is contaminated, reducing its value in the supply chain. This new toolkit, developed by Resource London, gives local authorities the means to identify the true financial impact of contamination on their services. This information can then be used to tackle the issue on an invest-to-save basis. We hope all London boroughs will use it.”
Mandy Pile, LARAC, said: “LARAC was delighted to be involved in the development of the toolkit, as identifying the true cost of contamination is a pertinent issue for every waste collection authority. We would encourage our members to use it.”
Resource London is hosting a webinar on 18th January 2017 to introduce the toolkit.
To register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org.