Supporting a system that minimises resources whilst maximising productivity
Target: By 2030, achieve a household recycling rate of 55%
Why this theme?
In the ongoing journey to become a more sustainable region, resource efficiency is a huge obstacle to tackle. The way we use our supply chains to create products and waste as a result has a huge impact on society, the economy and the environment. We are in a ‘plastic crisis’ as showcased by high-profile media coverage and want to work with our stakeholders to encourage a reduction in plastic and other waste by minimising consumption in the first place and re-using and recycling what we do use. Current performance around household recycling across the West Midlands is on average 42% although in some areas it is down at 20%, with some of the lowest rates in the country.
Development of the target
SWM consulted with WRAP in the development of this target, along with many experts across our membership base not least through running an event on the Future of Organics in 2019. In addition, the Resources and Waste Strategy currently sets a target of 50% household waste recycling by 2020.
Future modifications to this target will take account of the redefinition of ‘municipal’ waste once more comprehensive data is available, especially in relation to business waste.
What our Members are doing
Aston University is a long established research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce. The University is committed to sustainability in all its operations and has considerable expertise in sustainability research to support businesses and the public sector. A case study published in 2019 shows what the University has committed to in the field of resource efficiency as it has drastically reduced their consumption of single-use plastics on campus through a number of different means including encouraging use of reusable cups for hot drinks and tap water consumption and not using balloons at graduations. This resulted in the university being granted Plastic-Free status by Surfers Against Sewage as well as raising awareness of the issues surrounding single-use plastics to staff and students.
Exergy Ltd is an environmental engineering and consultancy company delivering advanced solutions to facilitate the transition to the circular economy. Exergy carried out an energy efficiency and engineering study at Coventry University. The main goal was to achieve significant energy and cost savings by using innovative technologies and project delivery methods. Exergy coordinated the deployment of innovative technologies in the campus buildings which worked as a living lab for energy efficient retrofitting activities. Exergy provided energy efficiency consultancy to monitor and assess the impact of the different retrofitting activities.
Other members leading on the theme of Resource Efficiency include: