Survey of the UK Organics Recycling Industry 2008/09

The latest survey of the UK composting, digestion and biological treatment industry for 2008/09 was carried out on behalf of the Association for Organics Recycling (AfOR) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) by M•E•L Research.  This survey follows on from previous annual surveys of the industry carried out by or on behalf of the Association for Organics Recycling, which can be downloaded from HERE
The 2008/09 survey findings provide details on industry size and trends, processing technologies in use, product certification, end users and markets for organics recycled products.
  1. The quantity of source segregated organic waste that underwent a biological treatment process in 2008/09 was around 5.1 million tonnes according to extrapolations based on the independently verified WasteDataFlow statistics. This was an increase of 0.6 million tonnes on the revised estimate of 4.5 million tonnes of organic waste composted in 2007/08.  Composting was the prinicpal treatment method.
  2. Of the 5.1 million tonnes, 85% comprised municipal wastes, showing the continuing prominence of this input source (88% in 2007/08), although non-municipal feedstock sources have grown slightly faster than municipal sources within the past year (a 15% share compared to 12% in 2007/08).
  3. Quantities steadily increased in line with a long term trend of annual increases (up 14% compared to 2007/08 data); this compares with a 9% tonnage increase between 2006/07 and 2007/08.
  4. The organics recycling industry has an estimated annual turnover of £226 million (up 36% on the 2007/08 estimate), with a workforce of around 1,700 full time equivalent employees, again an increase of 26%. 
  5. The quantity of compost produced from source segregated waste in the UK in 2008/09 was approximately 2.85 million tonnes, to which should be added a further 105,000 tonnes of digestate product. This total is significantly up from the compost and digestate total of 2.7 million tonnes in 2007/08 and more than double the quantity produced five years ago.
  6. The main compost product was soil conditioner which accounted for 2.3 million tonnes or 81% of the total products produced, an increase of 0.4 million tonnes and 10% of total product quantity over this period.

Commenting on the recent survey, Jeremy Jacobs Managing Director of AfOR said "This survey reflects the continued growth within the organics sector in spite of the recessionary trend seen elsewhere and demonstrates that the markets for compost continue to grow, especially in the farming sector".
To download a copy of the survey please click Survey of the UK Organics Recycling Industry - 2008/09
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