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Title: Increasing the UK household recycling rate : current applied approaches
Author: Woodard, Ryan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3572 4840
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2004
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National and European legislation dictates that the UK must move towards a more integrated system for managing its waste. An important part of this shift is the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill disposal and increasing the household waste recycling rate. As local authorities throughout the UK strive to meet challenging statutory recycling targets and the demands of the Landfill Directive, waste managers are revising their existing strategies and implementing new schemes. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the practical approaches that can be used by waste managers to assist the UK in increasing its levels of recycling. In part 1 of the thesis, three practical approaches available to local authorities for increasing their household recycling rate are explored and compared. Research investigates the possible role of diverting recyclable and compostable materials direct from the landfill tip face, however the results show that the waste being delivered is largely heterogeneous therefore making it difficult to efficiently segregate materials. The second approach explored is Household Waste Recycling Centres, and the results show that whilst these facilities have an important role to play there are a number of barriers such as poor management, insufficient staffing levels, site layout and the sheer volume of site users that prevent these sites from operating to their full potential. The third approach is kerbside recycling - three kerbside schemes were surveyed and the results show much variation in performance due to different collection frequency, supply of containers, level of waste awareness promotion, demographics of the population served and the range of materials collected. The results from investigating these three different approaches provide new and useful data in an area that is poorly understood and under researched. This data is in its own right a significant contribution to knowledge. From analysing these schemes it was evident that a number of issues influenced how a recycling system performed. Further work is presented in which these issues were extracted and used to devise a list of ten good practice recommendations that should be considered by waste managers when developing a household waste recycling system. A recycling scheme was then developed and implemented based upon the recommendations. The scheme achieved high levels of recycling and diverted large quantities of biodegradable waste from disposal at landfill. The scheme also led to increased levels of participation, however, the results showed that over time participation began to reduce and that residents started to placed excess waste out for collection. The research therefore highlights the importance of constant education and interaction with residents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available