Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Reuse before recycling

According to the mantra reuse should come before recycling, however, the reuse industry is often overlooked in favour of recycling. The website Treehugger asks if the Government could help to turn around the decline in the reuse of building materials.

The new report, Pushing Reuse (from BioRegional and Thornon Kay of Salvo) argues that reuse has been traditionally overlooked by policy makers, although it offers greater environmental benefits. It suggests that a reuse champion is needed to advocate reuse and potentially set up an incentive scheme for reuse which gives payment for materials diverted from landfill.

Jonathan Essex, Reclaimed Materials Manager at BioRegional said: "Pushing reuse clearly shows the benefits that reuse brings over recycling. For example, if we reclaimed 50% of reusable iron and steel the carbon savings would be equivalent to taking 29,000 cars off the road - and that's for just two materials. Yes, reclamation is currently more labour intensive than recycling which makes it more expensive, but it creates green jobs and products that often have a higher value than recycled - for instance reclaimed bricks are worth much more than bricks recycled into aggregate"

The full text of Pushing Reuse


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