£1m fund launched to boost business waste recycling

Resources charity WRAP has launched a £1m grant intended to boost the amount of waste businesses recycle.

The grant is part of the £18m Resource Action Fund, launched by DEFRA in May, which aims to increase municipal waste recycling in line with the adoption of the European Circular Economy Package targets of a 55% recycling rate by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. 

WRAP says the grant will provide capital support to increase recycling infrastructure for non-household municipal waste (NHM) which currently has a national recycling rate of around 40%, according to the charity.

However, the figure is just an estimate because firms that handle less than 50 tonnes of packaging a year and have a turnover of less than £2m are not required to report on the amount of waste they produce.

This week waste minister Thérèse Coffey said the government is unlikely to lower the reporting threshold despite rumours that smaller companies could be required to report.

The £1m capital funding is available to organisations that either collect or facilitate the collection of NHM to provide new or improved recycling services that will increase the total volume being recycled, as well as creating new infrastructure and enabling better access to services targeting or benefiting Small and Medium Business Enterprises (SMEs).

WRAP says project proposals will need to demonstrate a level of innovation that “goes beyond the current industry norm, and offer effective communication approaches to guide and support [SMEs] who are signing up to the new services”.

The charity said examples of project proposals could include alterations to Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) to provide new or increased capacity for NHM waste materials, alterations to existing recycling ‘bring sites’, new bring sites which accept NHM waste or dedicated micro bring sites located in areas such as business parks.

The grants will be managed by WRAP and individual awards will range from £25,000 to £170,000. 

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