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The waste management sector has been increasingly subject to legislation and environmental pressures, driven by the historically low levels of recycling within the UK. In addition, the collection of household waste has developed into a major sector of activity for the private sector following the competitive tendering introduced into the market. These developments have combined to create a major sector of industry. Much of the legislation relating to waste management is being applied throughout the EU, and this has delayed some of the UK legislation as the government has sought to make its laws compatible with EU Directives.
This report analyses the sources of waste arising in the UK, and the collection, treatment and disposal of that waste, particularly concentrating on the collection and disposal of domestic, commercial, industrial, building and demolition refuse, which can be broadly defined as the element of waste that is available to commercial contractors.
For the purpose of the report, the sources of waste arising in the UK are defined as:
- Agricultural Waste - non-organic waste arising from both the intensive and less intensive farming sectors, including wastes such as plastics (including fertiliser bags and silage wrap), pesticide and oil containers, pesticide washing, asbestos, scrap metal, batteries, veterinary waste, used oil, paper and cardboard.
- Mining Waste - waste and residues arising from the extraction of raw materials from the earth.
- Industrial Waste - waste arising from any factory and from any premises occupied by an industry.
- Household Waste - waste arising from residential premises and collected by household collection rounds, street sweeping, litter collection and separate garden waste collection services. Also includes waste collected from civic amenity sites, any waste collected for recycling or composting through bring/drop off schemes and kerbside collection.
- Commercial Waste - waste arising from any premises which are used wholly or mainly for trade, business activities, including sport, recreation, education or entertainment, excluding any municipal and industrial waste.
- Construction and Demolition Waste - waste arising from the construction, repair, maintenance and demolition of buildings and structures. Mainly includes brick, concrete, hardcore subsoil, and topsoil, as well as some timber, metal and plastics.
- Sewage Sludge - semi-solid residue arising from the wastewater treatment process.
- Dredged Spoils - excess material created by the process of dredging, an excavation activity or operation usually carried out at least partly underwater.
The report also refers to Municipal waste, which is defined as:
Including household waste and any other wastes collected by a Waste Collection Authority, or its agents, such as municipal parks and gardens waste, beach cleansing waste, commercial or industrial waste and waste resulting from the clearance of fly-tipped materials.
The majority of municipal waste is comprised of household waste (roughly 88%) for the purpose of the market size sector of this report the remaining 12% of municipal waste has been included in the other various sectors i.e commercial, industrial and construction and demolition.