West Midlands SMEs get £4m funding to close recycling gap
21st January 2011
Small to medium-sized firms in the West Midlands are to benefit from new funding aimed at addressing the region’s recycling gap.
The £4 million business development fund is aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) operating in the commercial and industrial
in the West Midlands. It aims to create the infrastructure and jobs to recycle
500,000 tonnes of 'harder to recycle materials’ over the next four years. These materials include: mixed plastic, low grade wood, food
waste, commercial and industrial collections, food waste collections and energy-from-waste infrastructure. Funding will go towards plant and equipment costs and bids will be accepted for capital investments
from £100,000 up to £500,000.
The new funding
is being provided through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme). A 2007 report showed that the West Midlands was facing an expected recycling capacity gap of 3.7 million tonnes a year by 2020.
The new funding is in addition to a recent programme, run by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and WRAP, to recycle of over one million extra tonnes of commercial and industrial waste by 2015.
"The success of the Advantage West Midlands (and WRAP) programme has been to significantly increase the recycling and reprocessing capacity for commercial and industrial waste in the region. But there is more to be done if all business in the West Midlands are to have economic options to recycle their waste by 2020," said Steve Creed, WRAP's director of Business Resource Efficiency
new European funding will […] provide an opportunity to create more jobs
in the recycling sector while at the same time contributing to
long-term sustainable growth of businesses in the West Midlands."
A spokesman for WRAP added: "In the current economic situation businesses may find it hard to make
the investment required to increase diversion of waste from landfill
without some degree of funding support."
WRAP said that athough this new funding will have a significant impact, there are likely to be ongoing opportunities for recycling businesses in the region to develop and expand. A study carried out by AWM and the Regional Technical Advisory Board forecasts that by 2020/21 the West Midlands will need a further three million tonnes of recycling capacity.
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