Sector overview report provides “ready-reckoner” on recycling and waste market for new policy makers

Sector overview report provides “ready-reckoner” on recycling and waste market for new policy makers

Sector overview report provides “ready-reckoner” on recycling and waste market for new policy makers

Sector overview report provides “ready-reckoner” on recycling and waste market for new policy makers

A new market research report, published by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) provides a valuable overview of the recycling and waste treatment sector, and its policy environment, for Government ministers and almost 300 new MPs entering parliament following last week’s General Election. 

The sector provides one of the UK’s most visible and essential frontline public services and is subject to a complex policy and regulatory environment. This policy environment is currently undergoing once-in-a-generation reform that will have profound effects on the market and the complexion of waste and recycling services. 

In particular, the inclusion of Energy-from-Waste in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2028 (with reporting starting in 2026) is currently under consultation and represents a fundamental shake-up of the economics of the sector which could result in negative unintended consequences for councils and businesses if not implemented correctly. Additionally, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, changes to kerbside collection services under Simpler Recycling and a deposit return scheme are all due to be introduced within the next Parliament, alongside more granular regulatory reforms. 

Numerous commencement deadlines for these changes are rapidly approaching and relevant policy-makers will need to quickly get to grips with the complexities of the sector if they are to support successful implementation – unlocking billions in investment; creating new jobs and delivering a more circular, lower-carbon, economy. 

The report brings together current data for waste volumes and flows, alongside informative charts, breaking down the complex market structure, with commentary on current and future economic and policy drivers both for the sector’s core activities and its decarbonisation plans. The ESA hopes that the publication will provide policy-makers, investors, journalists and stakeholders across the sector with an accessible but comprehensive snapshot of the £24billion sector underpinned by a consistent baseline data set.  

The report, entitled UK Recycling and Waste Treatment Market Overview, was compiled by independent consultancy Tolvik Consulting Ltd (Tolvik), which is a specialist provider of market analysis and commercial advisory services to the waste and bioenergy sectors across the UK and Europe.

The full report is available exclusively to ESA members but will be distributed directly to parliamentarians and relevant stakeholders. An abridged version is available to non-members for free. Both versions can be accessed from the ESA’s new website here.

Executive Director of the ESA, Jacob Hayler, said: The only interaction most people have with our sector is when their home or business bins are collected, or they need to visit their local Household Waste Recycling Centre. However, behind these valuable and visible frontline services lies a large, intricate and symbiotic network of organisations, infrastructure, data, policy and regulation that is forever shifting in response to societal and technological change. This report aims to provide an accessible snapshot of the sector – helping to bring those less familiar with its structure quickly up to speed. 

It also underscores the collective scale and impact of our members within the UK’s recycling and waste treatment system, which together account for a workforce of more than 50,000 people and operate the majority of outsourced local authority recycling and waste services across the country. Our members invest billions in British infrastructure, put boots on the ground and serve more than 17 million people every day – playing a pivotal role in the circular economy and protecting the environment.” 

Tolvik Director, Chris Jonas, said: “Tolvik is very pleased to support the ESA in communicating the range and scope of the £24bn of services provided by the waste and resources sector across the UK. The report brings together a wide range of data sources from many industry segments into a single summary report to provide some clarity and high-level understanding of the scale of activities undertaken in the managing of the UKs resources over recent years.  

Clearly with significant policy development on the cusp of implemention and further policy development required in key areas of circular economy and carbon reduction, these flows and values are likely to change materially going forwards. The report is intended to provide a robust snapshot of current macro market structures.”