Last week some of the Talking Tables team visited Western Riverside Waste Authority. Director Of Supply Chain Dan details the visit and what they learned:
'It was a very insightful visit and a stark reminder of the amount of waste that is produced, and the challenges in the recycling process. I was also surprised by how much manual sorting by workers takes place.
WRWA were honest that their operation is not the most sophisticated in the UK. Given the scale of waste they receive they are just doing their level best to just keep up. However, despite their challenges to recycle paper cups, plates and napkins they were very supportive of the work we are doing, and encouraged us to continue to tackle this issue.
We will be working to contact further waste authorities outside of London to understand how they treat paper cups, plates and napkins. We are in the process of working to get much more of our own product to be fully recyclable in places like this.
Here are some interesting take-aways from our trip:
- The plant receives around 500 lorries and 1000 tonnes of general waste each day.
- The plant works to process recycling into key categories, paper/card, glass, metals. Which can then be sold on.
- Recycling rates nationally are around 40%, however in London as low as 20%.
- Wales is seen as the benchmark for recycling in the UK with a rate of 50%.
- WRWA noted a rise in interest to visit their recycling plant by manufactures and wholesalers to understand how they can best ensure their product is recycled.