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Waste Strategy

Birmingham’s Waste Strategy aims to: 1) Prevent waste; 2) Create a 'circular economy'; 3) Work in partnership to reduce and reuse waste; 4) Maximize recycling and reuse; and 5) Move away from a 'one size fits all' approach. Maximization of recycling and reuse involves making better use of new technologies to enable a greater mix of materials to be recycled (for example, utilising Materials Recycling Facilities – MRFs to increase the recovery of recyclable materials from household waste prior to treatment) and developing alternative collection arrangements for flats and other properties that are difficult to access. Partnership for waste reduction and reuse includes awareness-raising campaigns aimed to affect purchasing habits. Maximization of recycling and reuse includes working with property developers to specify collection infrastructure for new build properties. Partnership for waste reduction and reuse involves the implementation of systems based on 'sharing economy', such as Borroclub - online platform developed as part of Innovation Birmingham that enables people to borrow household items from those living nearby. Procurement is used as a proactive means to embed waste prevention as set out in the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility. Birmingham already generates ‘value’ from waste because the waste collected by the council that cannot be recycled or composted is sent to the Tyseley Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) where it is used as a fuel to generate energy to power around 40,000 homes. However, within the waste hierarchy reducing, reusing or recycling waste is considered to be more beneficial than just recovering value from waste in the form of energy. We know that under current arrangements, the value from waste is not all kept within the Birmingham economy.