Experts have warned that despite the UK coming out of recession the waste sector is still at risk. Issues such as the decline in the construction industry and changeable overseas markets have been cited as key concerns.
Jacob Hayler, economist at the ESA, a trade association for the waste management sector said the UK had seen a “massive decline” in waste volumes over the last four years and that recyclate prices have been falling, making it very difficult for those managing commercial and industrial waste or landfill sites. He added that the performance of municipal waste contracts had helped to offset some of this, but there continued to be difficulties.
He said: “I believe things will continue to be difficult in terms of commercial and industrial waste and recyclables prices for a while. Data from China continues to be on the weak side and it is the Asian economy which will have the largest impact on commodity prices and prices of secondary raw materials.”
The Foresight Group, which manages a £50 million government fund to invest in small-scale waste infrastructure also said it was too early for any celebrations. In particular, the Group said that the UK’s recovery from recession was unlikely to make it easier for waste management companies to gain funding for waste infrastructure from the banks.