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Data will not go to waste


Researchers will assess how businesses manage waste

Researchers at Cardiff University, UK, are aiming to gather vital information from a load of garbage.

Businesses and commercial organisations in Wales, UK, generate millions of tonnes of waste each year, and much of it goes to landfill sites – a method of disposal which is causing mounting environmental concern and is increasingly subject to legislation.

Yet current data on how much waste is produced, what it comprises, where it goes, and how much this all costs the Welsh economy, are simply not known.

"The information we have on business waste in Wales confirms there is a serious problem, but we are lacking vital detailed data," said Lori Frater of the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) at Cardiff University.

"Businesses, policy-makers and regulators need a much clearer understanding of the scale and nature of the problem, before they can seriously address it."

Now, with funding from Biffaward, the Environment Agency Wales has commissioned experts in the BRASS Centre to carry out a Commercial and Industrial Waste Arisings Survey, which will question 2,400 businesses across Wales, gathering information on the waste they generate and how it is managed.

The survey will run from June to December, but several businesses are already involved, acting as host training companies for the 13 waste assessors who will collect the data. The companies include Remploy in Porth, Agrisense BCS in Treforest, and the Hilton Hotel, Cardiff. Cleanaway in Treforest is also providing valuable technical training.

"There are real benefits for the companies taking part in the survey," said Ms Frater. "They will receive advice and guidance on managing their waste, and even on possible income from it." Cardiff University is recognised for its expertise in waste management issues across a range of disciplines. Earlier this year, it was chosen as the base for the Centre of Excellence in Waste Research, a Wales-wide initiative backed by the Welsh Assembly Government, and mainly sponsored by EB Nationwide.

Lori Frater | EurekAlert!
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