#21 Recycling for Sustainability

How can a different way of waste management bring about more sustainability?

Richard Dryburgh is Resource Efficiency Manager for environmental charity Changeworks and a member of the 2050 Climate Group, Scotland’s Youth Climate Group.

Changeworks Recycling is a thriving social enterprise which provides recycling and waste management services to over 2000 Scottish businesses; they are recognised as industry leaders in doing so.

Unique Waste Management

Changeworks collects waste separately, for example, they collect paper separately from cardboard. This is different as mostly all waste is mixed together.

In the UK, all waste management companies have been logistics company that had to adapt their business model to recycling whereas Changeworks started as a recycling business and then the waste management role was added.

Changeworks does not just collect bins or rubbish. They know that everything they collect on the recycling front has a value to it. They try to get their clients understand this and keep the quality if the recycled material high.

Changeworks collects waste and recycles it into the same materials in a high quality. The recycled material has a financial value and environmental value.

Circular Economy

Changeworks collects high-quality materials from clients and reprocesses them into the same material. So, cardboard is made into cardboard and paper is made into paper and this loop continues.

The business model of Changeworks is completely a circular economy model where the recycled products are the same as the waste products. Changeworks, in this circular process, recycles drink cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, furniture and IT, apart from paper and cardboard. They also recycle feed waste into energy and compost.

The recycled products are sold directly and also via suppliers.

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