The new report also reveals that of bulky items taken to an waste recycling centre, 32% were estimated to be re-usable in their current condition. This figure increased to 51% when also considering items that required slight repair but were otherwise in good condition. For items collected at kerbside, 24% were estimated to be re-usable in their current condition, rising to a massive 40% when taking into account items requiring only slight attention.
'Composition and re-usability of bulky waste in the UK' – is the first UK-wide piece of research to look at the composition of bulky waste in the UK, in order to assess potential for re-use. It follows a report WRAP published last year on the environmental and economic benefits of re-use.
Mervyn Jones, Head of Products and Materials at WRAP, said:
"There is a perception that many bulky items taken to household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) or collected at kerbside are not re-usable. However, this research shows that there is significant re-use potential to be realised from these items.
This research will help local authorities and HWRC operators to remove these items from the waste stream, either for re-sale or for passing on to the third sector."
The research was undertaken by:
- Analysing call centre logs for bulky waste kerbside collections
- Compositional analysis of bulky waste collected at kerbside
- Surveying individuals depositing bulky waste items at HWRCs
Of all bulky waste in the UK, 42% consists of furniture, 19% textiles and 19% waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) – all materials which WRAP is exploring re-use potential for.
The research found that the most common bulky items taken to HWRCs are televisions, wardrobes and carpets, while the most common for kerbside collection are sofas, mattresses and beds.
WasteDataFlow (the online database for UK municipal waste reporting) figures show that around 1.6 million tonnes of bulky waste was collected at kerbside or taken to HWRCs in 2010/11.
The full report can be found at: Http://www.wrap.org.uk/bulkywaste
WRAP's vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.