Media Release: ‘Balanced’ EU waste package should boost British recycling, says Viridor


VIRIDOR, one of the UK’s leading recycling, resources and renewable energy companies, has welcomed the publication of what it considers to be a “balanced” EU Circular Economy Package.

Says a spokesperson: “Viridor believes the package will boost British recycling but believes there is a need for new regional resource networks to translate policy into practice.

“The new circular economy package, launched in Brussels, represents a game changing opportunity insofar as it recognises the benefits a modern resource sector can bring, and the key role it can play in underpinning both European and British economic resilience.”

Viridor is investing £1.8bn in next-generation recycling and recovery infrastructure.

Ian McAulay, chief executive of Viridor, said: “Europe has thrown away old thinking about ‘waste’ and is recognising the value of resources.

For several years, recycling and renewable energy has been a UK success story, with multi-billion pound investment in next generation infrastructure.

“However, against a backdrop of austerity, market turbulence and policy pressures, the realism of hitting existing targets remains challenging for many.

“The fresh EU package strikes the right balance across 28 member states with differing requirements for collections, recycling and recovery infrastructure.

“Importantly, it provides a practical framework for boosting British recycling, designing in recyclability and designing out waste, promoting sustainable sourcing and green public procurement.

“Whilst the package is ambitious and evidence-based, only fresh thinking and bold action to replicate British and European best practice, will address the significant barriers to be overcome in order to realise the economic opportunity of a more circular economy.”

Mr. McAulay therefore called on UK Government to replicate ‘best in class’ models across the country.

He added: “We have excellent examples in the UK of aggregated, integrated service models operating at the required economic scale.

“These include Greater Manchester, where an innovative resource partnership between the public and private sector serves 2.2m people across one million households.

“Against a backdrop of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, what’s being achieved in Manchester and elsewhere points to best practice fit for replication.

“Regional resource networks, where resource policy is aggregated across council boundaries mapping infrastructure to economic development, are the key to boosting stagnating recycling rates.”

Viridor is encouraging government to recognise the potential of aggregated services models and, as part of national infrastructure and resilience policy, consider options such as setting common standards for collections by councils and piloting standard collections on specific materials such as glass or eWaste.

Viridor is set to unveil its policy paper on Building Resource Networks at the Scotland 2020, ‘Rewiring the Economy’ event in Edinburgh on 10th December 2015.

Further information will be available at


Notes to editors:

EU Circular Economy Package highlights:

* The member states to use economic instruments to incentivise the waste

* A municipal waste recycling target of 65 per cent by 2030.

* Higher recycling targets for packaging waste.

* New EU rules on extended producer responsibility schemes.

* A restriction on landfill of municipal waste to no more than ten per
cent of arisings by 2030.

* Mandatory separate collection of bio-waste where this is TEEP.

* A ban on separately collected waste being accepted at landfill.

* A Circular Economy Action Plan setting out plans for future measures
on eco-design and for work on EU-wide quality standards for secondary
raw materials.

Viridor: transforming waste

* Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor’s purpose is to give the
world’s resources new life.

* Every day, Viridor takes what British homes and businesses throw away
and transforms it into essential quality materials, resources and energy
for customers across the UK and globally.

* Viridor works in partnership with over 150 local authorities, public
bodies and supports Britain’s leading businesses. The company is
investing £1.8bn in vital low carbon infrastructure and has the UK’s
largest network of 327 advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill
diversion facilities.

* Viridor embodies the circular economy, managing over seven million
tonnes of recyclates and resources each year, of which 2.4 million
tonnes are recycled. With seven energy recovery facilities and four more
under construction across the UK city-regions, Viridor currently
produces enough energy to power over 330,000 homes.

* Viridor makes a substantial contribution to the green economy through
investment in people and skills, employing over 3,200 people at 318
facilities. In addition to professional, fast-track graduate, skilled,
apprentice and new entrant programme, the company operates a foundation
management degree and delivered 5,887 training days in 2014/15.

* Viridor leads technology and innovation in the sector, investing in
progressive opportunities such as the DECC sponsored Viridor and
Highview Power energy storage project and the UK’s most advanced glass
recycling facility, using technology to give resources new life.

* Viridor is a leading member of the Green Alliance Circular Economy
Task Force, the All-Party Sustainable Resources Group and holds a three
star ranking in the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility

* Viridor has won a series of national and international awards
including the National Recycling Award for Local Authority Innovation;
Best Private Sector Initiative at the Scottish Resources Awards; CIWM
Award for the Best Run UK Waste Management Facility; the Industry Award
for Excellence for Design of a Recycling or Waste Management Facility
and the CIWM Resource Learning & Development Award for Education.

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Viridor contact details…

Contact: Martin Grey
Phone: 07717797133