New approach to recycling could secure £150m a year
Councils could plough £150m into the economy every year if they used their recycling services to generate high-quality materials, a new report claims.
Conducted by five recycling companies in Northern Ireland, the study found that over £100m worth of economic value is generated in Northern Ireland per year from manufacturing new products from paper, plastics and glass.
A further £50m of economic potential could be realised if additional high-quality recyclables were available locally to these manufacturers.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said:
“The economic and environmental benefits of high-quality recycling collections that deliver consistently valuable materials to reprocessors helps to protect and create jobs in the local economy.
“They also conserve valuable resources. The message from manufacturers that can use high-quality recovered materials is clear ‘give us the quality and we can use it and add value to the economy’.
Social enterprise Bryson Recycling led the project involving local manufacturers Cherry Plastics, Encirc, Huhtamaki (Lurgan) and AgriAD.
Bryson Recycling director Eric Randall argued the findings could help government and councils consider the strategic economic potential of remanufacturing recyclables.
“Our rubbish is a resource and we should put it to good economic use. This means jobs and economic activity on a much bigger scale than most people realise.”
Belfast city, Mid & East Antrim borough, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon borough, Antrim and Newtownabbey borough and Lisburn & Castlereagh city councils took part in a study.