SITA report shows potential of waste management sector to help boost jobs, growth and green energy


New research from SITA UK has found that 84,000 jobs could be created over the next decade in the recycling and waste management sector.

The report, Driving green growth: The role of the waste management industry and the circular economy’ is an attempt to demonstrate the benefits of a circular economy which creates investment opportunity innovation, growth, jobs and green energy.


Among four recommendations in the report, SITA UK is calling for the Government to create market signals that “encourage manufacturing to establish in the UK and give them the confidence that the source of raw materials will be maintained and secured.”

 SITA UK estimates that the waste to resource and energy from waste sectors could:

  • Provide opportunities for up to £25 billion of investment in new infrastructure, including new waste treatment facilities
  • Create up to 84,000 new jobs by 2020, directly and indirectly with a higher level of skills required than ever before
  • Could triple waste derived renewable electricity (from thermal combustion alone) to 3.6 terawatt hours powering one million homes
  • Energy from waste has the potential to meet 15 per cent of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources commitment and half of the country’s residential gas demand (up to 12 per cent of total UK demand) could be met by the waste management sector
  • Bring tens of millions of tonnes of valuable secondary commodities, reducing virgin material imports, helping UK manufacturing and supporting the circular economy. E.g. 4.2 million tonnes of card were exported in 2010 and 7.7 million tonnes of paper were imported.


SITA UK chief executive David Palmer Jones said: “The UK currently has a unique opportunity to revitalise its economy by changing the way it manages waste. Investing in new waste treatment facilities will not only create employment and economic growth, but consolidate a more secure energy supply.

“The more effective use of recyclables will help reinvigorate UK manufacturing where waste provides the base materials for new products previously destined for landfill.

“The sector’s performance and on-going innovation makes a strong case for businesses to unlock vital funding and play a central role in bridging the green gap, so the UK can meet its carbon budget targets to 2020 but also realise the potential of a circular economy.”