Viridor has called on the UK to follow the northern powerhouse model for regional resource networks to boost stagnating national recycling rates.
Speaking at the ‘Future of Waste Management Conference’ held at Salford University on 26 November, Richard Jenkins, Regional Managing Director with the firm, said to be one of the UK’s leading recycling, resources and renewable energy companies, called on UK Government to replicate the ‘best in class’ model across the country. Mr. Jenkins leads a £790m infrastructure programme in partnership with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, managing ‘waste resources’ for 4.2% of England’s population.
Addressing national business leaders, Mr. Jenkins said: “The ‘Manchester Model’ is Europe’s largest resource partnership between the public and private sector, and serves 2.2m people across 1m households. Through its innovative Manchester 2020 Vision, the partnership has not only thrown away old thinking about ‘waste’, it has boosted regional recycling and diversion from landfill.
“Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, what’s being carried out here in Manchester is a beacon of 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 success of the ‘Manchester Model’ 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 e-waste.
Also presenting at the event were Maurice Golden of Zero Waste Scotland and Phil Morton from REPIC amongst others.