DON’T FORGET that landfill tax is about to go up again. As part of the landfill tax escalator – designed to encourage the diversion of waste from landfill – waste disposal costs rise by £8 per tonne each year.
When you read this it’ll be £64 to send a tonne of waste to landfill, but come April it’ll be £72. With 1.5m tonnes of hospitality waste ending up in landfill (according to WRAP), that’s another £12m on the sector’s waste bills.
Time to reduce, reuse and recycle.
A University of Brighton architect has built a giant totem pole to spread the word about recycling.
The nine-metre Waste Totem is built of rubbish and welcomed the 50,000-plus visitors at this month’s Ecobuild exhibition and conference at the ExCel in London. This reminds me of the startling statistic that for every five houses built, the equivalent of one house is thrown away (perhaps explains the sharp intake of breath whenever a builder is asked about the cost of a job in my house).
The events industry currently recycles about 15% of its waste. It isn’t much. So it’s no surprise that the Waste & Resources Action Programme decided to take a closer look. WRAP found some companies doing pretty well – recycling 50% of their waste – but these were the exception rather than the rule. Coming off the back of a home Olympics and Paralympics that were the first ever to have achieved “zero waste to landfill”, what better time could there be for an “events industry roadmap” on waste?
There’s a target to divert all the sector’s waste from landfill by 2020. With landfill taxes on the rise again (see below), success could deliver significant savings. The average spectator at the Olympics, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games since 2000 has produced an average of 0.95kg of waste. With the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming Scotland next year – and the third annual Footprint Awards this May – can the UK build on the success of London 2012 and make zero-waste events 100% successful?