Like all good celebrations they can run on an on. After all the queen has had two birthdays a year for as long as I can remember and looks none the worse for it. So here at Novelis Recycling and aluminium with its endless recyclability, we have been celebrating a 25-year anniversary during the last year………or longer. Whilst I sometimes feel like I’ve been around for all those 25 years, the fact of the matter is that a lot has happened since our predecessor company took the bold decision to build a capital intensive operation in Warrington. After all the aluminium can recycling was only 2% at the time! So reaching 25 years and the heady heights of a 70% recycling rate for aluminium cans seems worth taking the time to reflect upon.
Looking back at the stats that define that quarter century it’s an impressive 500,000 tonnes of used UK aluminium cans that have churned through the plant, many supplied direct by local authorities. And whilst the market has been up and down, it is a conservative estimate that £375 million has been paid back into local authorities, waste management companies and community enterprises. Facts that’s we are so proud of that we had them commissioned onto a limited-edition aluminium can – what else! With innovations such as a full opening end, we were even able to fill the cans with sweets. These seemed to go down a treat with suppliers and friends at the recent Recycling and Waste Management exhibition.
Looking ahead 25 years seems somewhat foolhardy and even optimistic as we currently have a US President beckoning Armageddon with every 140 character proclamation, but history has probably taught us that what did before to get us here today, won’t be enough to get us where we want to be in the future. Change is inevitable and we continue to live in interesting times. But, European and World politics aside, the ideas emerging about a possible introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme create their own twitter storm in a disposable coffee cup. Fuelled by media pressure and littering concerns with plastics, the proposed solution would no doubt have far-reaching consequences. Without going into the detail, I’ll leave that for another day, the highly recycled aluminium can runs the risk of being caught under the sledge hammer used to crack the plastics nut. More to come on this no doubt, but if you have any specific views we’d be delighted to hear from you.
So if not 25 years, how about 25 days where Novelis Recycling is once again delighted to be sponsor of the LARAC Conference. A time when the ‘the local government family’ comes together for its annual catch up with familiar friends but also to meet new people, discover new ideas and go away renewed and refreshed. If you are going, I hope you enjoy it and do pop by the Novelis stand. It seems that it is possible to have too much of a good thing, nearly all the cans filled with sweets disappeared, but do pop by the stand to check it out – if the sweets have gone we do have some empty cans which can be reused as a pencil pot for years to come. I’d say 25 or more