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Waste Sector Strikes & Price Hikes – Navigating a Turbulent Time in the Industry.

The UK waste management sector has been experiencing labour strikes for the past several weeks as unions representing workers demand better pay and benefits. This has caused disruptions in service and increased costs for businesses, raising questions about how this will impact the industry in the long term. While the strikes are ongoing, it is important to understand what is driving them and how they could affect your business.

Some agreements have been made since the strikes began, such as GMB union members agreeing to a pay rise of up to 20.7% by Adur and Worthing councils. However, the path ahead looks rocky as more unions consider going on strike across the country and waste costs continue to rise. 

What Does This Mean for Councils and Firms in the UK?

With 2020 and 2021 being tough times for the waste industry, 2022 is also off to a tumultuous start as the HGV driver shortage acted as a catalyst to labour strikes. The recent strikes, increased labour costs, M&A activity, driver shortages, and fuel & energy cost inflation have all had a compounding effect on rising costs. But what does this mean for councils and firms across the UK?

There’s pain ahead for councils as they grapple with uncollected waste, missed routes and problems at processing centres. With the majority of waste collection companies not yet succumbing to union pressure, more strikes and inevitable waste collection disruption will continue. 

One example of this happening is in Manchester. Waste strikes are causing councils headaches on a grand scale where up to 220,000 homes could be affected in the month of May. 

The strikes don’t just stop at councils as firms across the UK come under increasing inflationary pressures and labour force strike activity. Recent M&A activity has also been widely slated as being detrimental to a lid being kept on the rising cost of waste. 

It almost looks like the perfect storm of factors sending waste costs all but up. It’s got leaders of firms around the UK searching for answers as waste management becomes an increasing burden on company balance sheets.  

Independent, Data-backed Waste Management Solutions – Keeping a Lid on Price Hikes. 

GPT Waste has been honing its independent waste broker model for years. It’s the extremely precise knowledge of the UK waste market, waste stream management, waste disposal options and scale of purchasing power that gives GPT a unique advantage in the waste market. 

Furthermore, when complex industrial strike discussions are taking place, GPT can negotiate on your business’s behalf, ensuring the best possible outcome for your waste solution.  

While there are uncertain times ahead in the UK waste sector it’s the stability found in GPT’s broker model that is well-placed to provide customers with stability and reliability in the UK’s unpredictable waste management sector.     


GPT Waste offers an industry-leading, transparent and technology-backed offering to the UK waste sector. We can offer strategic reviews 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 our expert team about your waste management requirements, call 0844 854 5000