Without reform, waste management could cost local authorities up to an extra £485m per year, according to the Environmental Services Association (ESA).
In a new strategy paper, the association has outlined its proposed reforms to the sector, including transferring resource ownership from the public sector to product supply chains and realising economies of scale.
Resourceful: Delivering a Strong and Competitive UK Resource Economy also outlines ways to eliminate waste crime and build resilient recycling and recovery markets.
The ESA said its proposals would save between £1-£4bn of public money, create 50,000 new jobs, and deliver a private sector-led package of investment in new waste infrastructure worth £10bn.
Executive director of the ESA, Jacob Hayler, said: ‘Without action, we estimate that by 2020, waste could cost local authorities and businesses an extra £260m to £485m per annum.
‘In addition, around 15% of the UK’s current recycling capacity will close during this timeframe, reducing household recycling rates by 5% and leading to the loss of 8,000 jobs. This will result in the UK missing its recycling targets.’