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THE STATE OF WASTE: A look at the waste management market during and post pandemic.

By 2020-12-11No Comments

As a solution-based business, GPT Waste is always looking at what we can do to help our clients and industry as a whole. Under the cloud of Brexit and the veil of uncertainty brought upon by Covid-19, there are a number of challenges facing us here in the UK and around the world. In our market update, we look at the effects that Covid-19 has had on business, Government and all of us when in to comes to waste disposal.

What does a Covid-19 and a post Covid-19 world look like for the people?

Working from home isn’t just working from home, it’s living at work. That means less waste in the workplace and more waste being collated at home. With that rise in household waste and reduction in commercial waste, everyone is under more pressure to actively, correctly, responsibly dispose of our waste. But what is happening to our waste, and where is it going?

Government figures showed that in 2018-2019 that 43.8% of the waste collated by local authorities from households in England were burnt. That equates to 11.2m tonnes of waste. This figure indicates that incineration has already overtaken recycling and composting as the prime waste management method amongst households in the UK. But what does a Covid-19 – daresay our ‘new normal’ – look like for household waste levels?

Most local councils have indicated that waste and recycling collection seems to have doubled under Covid-19 driving up costs, putting pressure on returning workers and increasing services on our roads.

What about business and Government?

At a national level, the Government seems caught in a rock and a Paris Agreement – forever balancing different waste management methods to appease all parties. How can they deliver clear policy, give guidance on responsible waste disposal, deliver on coal, power and energy commitments, lessen our impact on the earth and recycle where appropriate?

Although commercial waste isn’t on the rise, resources may be affecting some businesses during the pandemic. Staffing is an issue, overheads are still there and inevitably, businesses are having to concentrate on other areas of operation to stay afloat. Guy Cherry, Managing Director of GPT Waste, sees worth in looking at waste as it can become a major cost and a major headache to businesses.

“2020 will go down as the period where costs were reviewed to a finite point and the outsourcing model gained momentum. The year will also be seen as the period where ‘waste as a resource’ gained further momentum, traditional norms have been cast aside and there has been a general appetite, on the back of the last three years of austerity, to finally nail down business costs’.

‘GPT has used this period to strengthen our supplier relationships and better understand the value in waste in order to enhance our offer to our clients. Our business model allows us to navigate all of the activity of the waste sector and best deliver it to businesses. We remain hopeful that the government extends its supply chain requirements to include the outscoring model and all that it can offer”.

The way out

With the waste sector being granted Key Worker status, collections are happening the country over. A big change has been the concentration on household waste vs commercial waste. Local councils then rely on the people of Britain to separate their waste responsibly and correctly. This is different from the commercial model where we have resources in place to collect, sort and separate.

As a leading independent provider of solutions in this space, GPT Waste are here to help. It’s always worth evaluating your needs and looking at whether your waste solution is up to date. Over the past 5 years, GPT Waste has facilitated over 2 million movements across the UK, managed over 50,000 tonnes of waste across the UK per year and have delivered 95.82% landfill diversion on all tonnage under our management. In short, these numbers demonstrate our capacity to operate effectively and deliver a thorough service on behalf of our clients in any challenging environment.

To close, Guy Cherry has listed some points to consider coming out of Covid-19:

  • Review existing waste management contracts and understand timelines for ensuing your existing contract doesn’t roll over into a new agreement
  • Benchmark existing methods for onsite handling of waste
  • Ask the broader question “is this our waste or a supplier’s?”
  • Engage with the marketplace to understand what solutions are available
  • Don’t be drawn to using national waste carriers; their offer is self-limiting
  • Consider the outsourcing model to undertake all the above on your behalf

GPT Waste offers a strategic review of your waste management requirements in order to identify environmental and cost benefits. Our approach has made us the UK’s leading independent waste management company. To speak to someone about your waste management requirements, call 0844 854 5000 or email info@gptwaste.com

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