After two years of looking at practical ways of increasing the level of house clearance recycling from its current level of 75%, Gateshead House Clearance companies have opened their doors to publicise their work so far. Although there was much talk and hype with recycling industry leaders being shown around a new recycling facility and statements relating to the increase in House Clearance recycling, I found it hard to pin any of the house clearance company officials down to any specific new recycling ideas especially in the area of reuse. Yes, they could tell me that they re-use clothing & decent furniture but this isn’t particularly new as we here at Northern House Clearance Gateshead have been doing this from day one. Perhaps I was hoping for too much but I did expect to hear at least one example where the house clearance industry as a whole would be able to send a previously unrecycled materialst for recycling and that the figures would add up but unfortunately I didn’t. I don’t think the house clearance companies are the ones dragging their heels. I feel the problem lies with a hesitancy within the industry as a whole to grasp the problem of what to do with unwanted carpets & mattresses. I did not get the feeling that anyone was yet out there saying I need your old carpets & mattresses to increase our recycling turnover as you may know most carpets & mattresses end up in landfill. This is where it is essential that the recyclers use their influence to create real markets for the materials being dumped.
The other fear I have with larger recycling groups is that the team in the driving seat is most definitely the big landfillers, and not the smaller recyclers. Where does this leave the recycler who is not in the loop once the department stores have tied up agreements with the landfillers? I expect the answer is “he will be put out of business”. That is not where it ends though. We would then have a recycling industry that has no freedom of thought. Those affiliated would do as they are told or they would go the same way.
Shredder feed price fall
Carpets & mattresses shredder feed prices are dropping in response to the Landfill Tax, which comes into force on 1st October. Representatives from the house clearance industry have long been predicting trouble from the £7 a tonne tax on carpets & mattress waste. Pleas for an exemption to be made for this waste, which has already had the vast majority of recyclables recovered from it, have been ignored by the Government. Therefore costs at every link in the recycling chain will rise, and the inevitable result is that low profit margin recovery could be abandoned. Refrigerator recovery seems to be the most likely loser in this respect. So, on the one hand, this new tax has been designed by the Government to increase recycling rates and thus protect the environment, yet on the other hand, some products will suffer from reduced recycling rates. The phrase that springs to mind is: ‘Actions speak louder than words’, especially when they are written on Government headed notepaper.