Collect and Recycle

Funding reduction doesn’t dent WRAP confidence

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The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has used its 2012/13 annual report to express confidence in its future, despite the UK government having overseen “significant” cuts in its funding this year. Such a positive report should please many of those using Collect and Recycle ( for services like cardboard recycling.

Nonetheless, the not-for-profit organisation conceded in its Annual Report and Consolidated Accounts for the year ended March 31 2013 that the cut in funding from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) would force it to focus on “fewer priorities”.

The organisation said that the reduction in its Defra funding was reflected in its drop in total income for the year, from £65.6 million last year to £63.2 million in 2013. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolved institutions also contribute to the funding of WRAP. There was also a reduction in the amount the organisation spent on programmes this year, by around £2 million from the almost £50 million expenditure recorded for 2012.

Although £25.7 million is presently received by the organisation from Defra, 2015/16 will see a “significantly reduced” level of funding of £15.5 million, after Defra launched a review and consultation of its funding for WRAP’s projects in England.

The Local Authority Advisory Committee (LARAC) warned waste recycling stakeholders in June 2013 that cutting WRAP funding would bring “wide-ranging indirect effects”. However, WRAP chairman Peter Stone commented in the report that the decision to reduce funding was “neither unexpected nor surprising given the UK government’s commitment to reducing the budget deficit”.

In addition, although the report admitted to “uncertainty” surrounding future funding levels, it said that WRAP directors had “a reasonable expectation that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future”.

Mr Stone stated: “Despite the inevitable cut, we view the settlement as a huge vote of confidence in the work WRAP does. Less money means rightly that we will need to focus on fewer priorities and we will be discussing the detail of our future work with Defra over the coming months.”

He added that there would still be “significant funding” for WRAP, claiming that the organisation “is in very good shape and we are confident about the future.”

Also highlighted in the report were WRAP’s successes over the year, including the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment for retailers, with food waste an increased focus; a new voluntary agreement for the reduction of food and packaging waste in the hospitality sector; and research conducted by the organisation showing that textiles amounting to a value of £238 million are sent to landfill in the UK each year, rather than being recycled, reused or sent for energy recovery.

Such news on the continued success of WRAP is likely to be welcomed by a wide range of UK recycling stakeholders, including ourselves here at Collect and Recycle (, as we maintain our own commitment to the most efficient, affordable and fully compliant business waste services.

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