Is green a grey area? Sustainability and inclusivity; the ageing population and recycling

Oral presentation



There are growing pressures (political, legislative and environmental) to increase material recovery through recycling. There are two basic recycling schemes in the UK; kerbside and bring-site schemes. With current kerbside schemes, when a householder becomes unable, through age, illness or disability, to physically move their waste containers (bins, boxes or bags) onto the pavement for collection, the refuse collection service provider will enter the property premises, take the containers out to the refuse collection vehicle (RCV), empty them before returning them to the starting point. Obviously, with bring sites, people travel to the site and place the recycling in the banks themselves. With an ageing population, increasing numbers of older people are requiring specialist recycling services. These are likely to become more time consuming and costly as household numbers increase. Bring sites have obvious limitations for older people with their limited mobility and reduce strength. To date little or no previous research has been undertaken about barriers to recycling for older people and the implications to waste management providers of an ageing population. This paper describes initial work beginning to assess this problem within Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).

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