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BT recycles 50% of its waste

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Source: Materials Recycling Week

BT has announced in its Corporate Responsibility Report that it has recycled 50 per cent of its waste in the last financial year.

The firm’s Sustainability report 2009 shows that it produced 71,314 tonnes of waste in the last financial year and recycled half of it.

In 2007, BT recycled 42 per cent of its waste (see MRW story).

BT produces waste such as cable, telephone exchange equipment, batteries, and general scrap metal.

Environmental compliance manager Bill Squires told MRW: “We have been working on our waste recovery model which covers all the types of waste generated in BT. For example; we recycled 8,000 tonnes of telegraph poles plus significant volume of cable and metals through specialist recycling routes.”

Risk group owner for waste services Keith Davey added: “We are looking at avoiding waste going to landfill in the first place. We are looking at waste avoidance. We have approached nine major waste management and recycling companies, such as Closed Loop Recycling, to look at the innovative solutions they have to help us tackle our waste. We are trying to recycle as much as we can.

“We have an eight per cent reduction target on our waste to landfill tonnage from last year, as part of our improvement plans.”

Davey said that one of the main challenges for the UK waste sector is the lack of infrastructure “which is still an issue in terms of recycling facilities – where there is insufficient national coverage available to us at the moment”.

He said that more material recycling facilities would help the firm recycle more.

The introduction of the Batteries Regulations also affects BT operations. BT has back up battery systems in its telephone exchanges and batteries in some of its products it sells, making it a producer.

Davey said: “There are still challenges but we are continuing to develop strategies from diverting as much waste as possible away from landfill.”

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