Many local authorities already tender out kerbside and other recycling and
composting contracts, and the community sector has a track record of
delivering these successfully. The advent of Best Value is also likely to favour
the community sector approach.
Recycling credits (a payment made by councils against the saving in disposal
costs resulting from recycling activity) may be available to social enterprises
which take materials out of the waste stream. The Recycling Officer or
equivalent in most local authorities will be able to tell whether your council
offers recycling credits, and if so, what your local rate is. They will also be
able to advise you how to register for payment and how often it is paid
monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. A booklet describing the Recycling
Credits scheme in more detail is available from Waste Watch (see Additional
resources at the end of this guide). The value of Recycling Credits varies
depending on the local cost of waste disposal, but is generally between
£20 and £35 for every tonne of material diverted from landfill.
Most local authorities also provide an annual grant programme for
supporting the voluntary sector and social enterprises in their areas.
Revenue in the European Community's general budget comes from a
number of Europe-wide taxes and levies. This money is redistributed into
specific funds and budgets, which support actions to promote economic
growth and social cohesion in all the Member States.
Some recycling schemes may qualify for funding from the European
Structural Funds (European Social Fund, European Regional Development
Fund etc.), but it is wise to remember that the application process is likely to
be lengthy, and even if awarded the grant may take some to come through.
European funding is normally available through local authorities, and there
are a number of funds that can be applied for. For example, if a proposed
project has a strong training element, then it may be eligible for support
from the European Social Fund (ESF). For more information, most local
authorities have a European or Economic Development Unit.
The advent of several new regeneration funds over the past decade has
changed the shape of the social economy considerably. After many years of
recycling being effectively excluded from regeneration programmes on the
grounds of duplication of statutory provision, the excellent track record of
the sector in the field of job creation seems to have led to a re-interpretation
of several funds' criteria, opening the door to community recycling
organisations. At the same time, established voluntary sector organisations
have recently begun to diversify into community recycling, taking advantage
of this vehicle for delivering on regeneration objectives.