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I would like to thank The RHA (Road Haulage Association) Waste and Recycling group for some inspiration behind this blog !!!


October and November saw lots of negativity about Brexit. Brexit will make buying trucks 16.5% more expensive, and make any new parts to be delivered to the uk more expensive, but will this in turn develop new industry within the UK to make us more self sufficient?

We currently export 3.6 million tonnes of Waste/ Fuel (RDF) to Europe, if there are more border controls in place, then that waste material may be stuck in the UK and present a problem. I see that this is an issue, short term a massive problem, but in the medium term, if this means the UK gets more waste infrastructure to deal with its own waste and we can create electricity from it, surely that self sufficiency is a good thing? We certainly need more outlets to recycle and process our own waste. Exporting this around the world is madness.

Next up is the Residual waste disposal crisis. We have seen an increase of upto 10% on the amount it costs us to get rid of our residual waste - this has been seen throughout the industry. We also rely on 14% of our residual waste in the UK going to Europe. Holland are putting a levy on receiving refuse derived fuel ( RDF) from other countries. RDF exports to Holland will face a tax of 32 Euros per tonne that will come into force in January, so that will surely slow down the amount of waste that Holland will take from the UK. Prices will also be rising in April when the landfill tax goes up again. Testing times, and further encouragement for us to reduce, re use and recycle.

Paper recycling - we are currently struggling to get rid of our mixed paper grades, material we were getting £100 per tonne for (2 years ago), we are struggling to get £5 per ton for !!!!

Cardboard prices are down another £20 a tonne, to £30 per tonne - this has been as high as £140 per tonne within the last year.

On the opposite side of the coin is plastics. We have seen an increase of £200 per tonne for our mixed plastic bottles and our mixed film grades. We don't know why this has happened there is no rhyme or reason for it, but there is currently really strong demand for plastics. Quality is the key here, if the materials are really clean and well presented, with no contamination, we can achieve the best market rates.

We also have the "Greta effect" where we're being asked more and more by our customers to seperate waste, they want to be seen to be recycling more and to have more social and corporate responsibility.

This is good news for us - we can put more bins out - the customer separates waste better, giving us a cleaner, higher grade of material, that we can then recycle and sell on. Greta is getting people from all walks of life talking about recycling. This can only be a cause for good.

Finally, good news on wood recycling.!! There is a really strong market for wood at the moment, the Northern European market is demanding wood for power stations this winter. This means the price to dispose of wood, (that we have pay) is going down, so that's good news for us and we can pass these savings on to our customers.

So its a real mixed bag - a lot of negative stuff (Paper and Car) and some good stuff (Plastics and wood).

But that is what we do in the waste industry, we are always juggling the good and the bad and chasing the prices where ever we can.