Resource Futures has recently completed a review and update HWRC best practice guidance for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This included a full literature review, site visits and consultation with local authorities; and the production of user friendly good practice guidance for publication by WRAP. The guidance provides updated advice on the issues addressed in the National Assessment of Civic Amenity Sites (NACAS) report (see below), as well as some other areas that were not sufficiently covered by the NACAS report, such as legislation and issues around the potential rationalisation of HWRC networks.
Maximising recycling at HWRCs is a continual challenge – highlighted by the recent drop in national HWRC recycling rates in England. High recycling rates should be readily achievable across all HWRCs and where they are not being achieved, councils or their contractors are missing a trick. But they are a myriad of issues that need to be dealt with to ensure that sites are operating efficiently: range of materials recycled, layout and traffic management, getting the public to segregate recyclables, dealing with trade abuse, preventing security break-ins, etc. There is also the issue as to whether your current HWRC network is adequate, or if a proper service can still be provided whilst rationalising the network…The NACAS report is still regarded as the HWRC bible for many of these issues, but it is now out of date, so more current guidance is required.
This work built upon the National Assessment of Civic Amenity (NACAS) sites, which included onsite assessment of 130 sites across the UK. For this project, we reviewed the data collected for the NACAS project alongside 200 additional site assessments that we had since carried out, as part of consultancy support to local authorities and contractors. We also carried out a full literature review and workshops with key stakeholders to identify key issues and solutions for a wide range of HWRC management issues.
We produced user friendly good practice guidance, which is easily referenced and much more concise than the NACAS report. This included a toolkit to help councils and contractors to identify improvements at their HWRCs and predict the increase in recycling rate that would result, and a national directory of HWRC provision and performance, to help councils benchmark their sites.
Councils and contractors now have access to updated, concise and easy to use guidance to help them identify ways to improve their HWRCs. The guidance is particularly relevant as we have shown that high recycling rates are achievable across a wide variety of HWRCs in different settings, and it is clear that many sites could significantly improve their performance with measures that are reasonably practicable to implement.