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40% of bulky items collected at kerbside could be re-used: Study

It has been found in a study across the UK that 40% of bulky items collected at the kerbside, such as sofas and televisions, could be re-used.

Of bulky items taken to a household waste and recycling centre (HWRC), it is estimated that 32% were re-usable in their current condition, according to a study by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a not for profit organization backed by the UK governmental agencies and EU.

The report entitled, Composition and re-usability of bulky waste in the UK, said if items requiring slight repair are taken into account, then 51% of bulky items sent to HWRC could be re-used.

According to WasteDataFlow estimates, about 1.6mt of bulky waste was collected at the kerbside or taken to HWRCs across the UK during 2010/11.

WRAP head of products and materials Mervyn Jones said that there was a thought process that most bulky items taken to household waste and recycling centers (HWRCs) or collected at kerbside are not re-usable.

"This research will help local authorities and HWRC operators to remove these items from the waste stream, either for re-sale or for passing on to the third sector," added Jones.