Following the recent 40 per cent reduction in its budget as confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has begun its transition towards consultancy work, with the announcement that it is to embark on a three year resource efficiency project funded by the European Union (EU). It is a development that will interest many of those recycling old computers and other materials with Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com).
The organisation’s chief executive added that there were several more funding opportunities “in the pipeline”, as it was announced that it had secured €3.1 million (£2.7 million) of funding in total, to oversee REBus (Resource Efficient Business Models), a project with financial backing from the EU LIFE+ fund which supports various environmental initiatives on the continent.
WRAP stated that it would focus on resource efficiency in four key markets as part of the project – namely electrical and electronic products, furniture, clothing and construction products. WRAP’s involvement in the project was announced just a fortnight after the organisation was informed of a reduction in its funding from the UK government of more than a third during the 2014/15 period, as part of the government’s Spending Review.
News of WRAP’s EU assignment also came at the same time as concerns were voiced at the Resource Association conference in London about an ongoing requirement to ensure quality in recycling – an area in which some observers in sectors like electrical waste recycling and copper recycling feel WRAP should be more deeply involved.
After the EU award was confirmed, WRAP chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin told letsrecycle.com of the organisation’s intention to boost the diversity of its income base, adding that in addition to its work for the UK governments, it intended to take on a greater consultancy role. She expressed confidence of the announcement being the “first of many” for the organisation in the months ahead.
She commented: “I was delighted to hear that WRAP had been successful in securing new EU funding for REBus (Resource Efficient Business Models).
“We have been saying for some time – most recently at the time of the recent Whitehall Spending Review – that WRAP is actively pursuing a new business model where we can draw on more diverse sources of funding, and this latest award is a perfect example of this in action.”
WRAP’s director of Closed Loop Economy, Marcus Gover, also welcomed the announcement, stating at the Resource Association conference that the funding award represented “very good news” at a time of budget cuts by government. WRAP currently receives funding from four government bodies, including the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as Defra.
The development shows how organisations of concern to those in such sectors as cardboard collection are showing adroitness in expanding their revenue streams at a time of reduced generosity from government – efforts in which we can only salute them here at Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com).