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Money For Old Rope

Growth in the UK’s waste and recycling sector has been consistent over recent years despite the challenges and economic decline faced by so many other industries in these financially challenging times.

The realisation that many of the waste materials we produce need to be treated as a valuable resource rather than dumped in landfill sites has gradually developed to a point whereby this value is actually being reflected in the way we manage our waste.

In some aspects the scales appear to be finally tipping in the environment’s favour, as at last, the majority of the waste we produce as a nation no longer ends up in landfill.


This is a sector with huge potential and significant opportunities. Previous investment has developed it into an industry that provides employment for more than 100,000 UK workers, generating in excess of £12 billion pounds annually.

Further investment in this booming industry would be of great benefit to us all. A greater level of investment in this area would lead to economic growth through the creation of additional jobs and of course greener waste management has a positive impact on the environment in general.

Globally this is a giant market and it would be fantastic to see the UK leading the way in this area by working towards a more resource efficient economy.


At the moment, a lack of capacity in our treatment and processing facilities within the UK has meant that billions of pounds of materials must be sent abroad each year to be processed instead. This export of recyclable materials has played a key role in the growth of the sector by helping the UK to meet its targets for recycling and has been an essential part of diverting materials from landfill sites.

In the long term however, developing  the UK’s waste processing capacity, to enable us to cope with more of our own waste and use our precious resources with maximum efficiently is going to be a key area for future growth, providing greater employment opportunities and boosting the waste and recycling industry even further.


There are all sorts of activities and job opportunities involved in the recycling of our domestic, commercial and industrial waste, including;

  • Collection – numerous businesses and companies are involved in the collection of recycling, including both local authority and private organisations. Kerbside collections, the collection of bulk items, collection centres etc.
  • Brokers – companies involved with the purchase and sale of recyclable materials.
  • Waste processors – all businesses involved in composting, baling, crushing and reforming recyclable materials.
  • End users – this section of the market includes all businesses that purchase recycled materials and use them in the production of new items.
  • Resellers – there are a huge variety of businesses involved in the resale of used parts and used goods.
  • Manufacturers – businesses involved in the design and manufacture of all of the equipment and machinery that is used to collect, sort and process recyclable materials.


Providing the government takes a sustainable approach to development, a greener economy ought to mean a general improvement in quality of life brought about by social, economic and environmental benefits.

Recycling even higher quantities of waste materials will lead to a direct increase in the quantity of sustainable green jobs available in the UK, because the expansion of this sector would require a greater number of people becoming involved in all aspects of work relating to the collection, sorting and processing of recyclable waste materials. A positive cycle for the economy and the environment. Perfect.

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