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The charity making life better by water

Bins and recycling

The millions of people who live on and visit our canals each year generate quite a bit of waste, which we have to dispose of responsibly.

Each of our waste disposal facilities offer 'general waste'. And we try to put recycling bins at every location we have, but due to logistical reasons such as a location being isolated and rural, it sometimes means we can't get a recycling service there but over 90% of our waste is still diverted from landfill. In 2021/22 we spent over £1.4m emptying the bins, skips and dealing with litter, fly-tipping and hazardous waste.

Fusion collections – At some of our sites our contractors use the same bin lorry to collect all the different waste types at the same time, these services are known as fusion collections, even though all the waste goes into one lorry the waste is taken to a recycling plant where the waste is sorted. This type of service only happens at a small number of our sites where our contractors are unable to collect the bins separately, with these collections the waste is still sorted to ensure as little as possible goes to landfill, it is also cheaper to service recycling bins so having recycling bins as well as general waste bins at sites with fusions collections saves us money and by having recycling bins, we also improve our recycling at source rates.

Wheelie bins

Red wheelie bins

In 2021/22 our contractors emptied over 67,000 wheelie bins from customer waste sites at a cost of £750,000.



We also provided over 1,500 skips for our construction, customer services and volunteering teams throughout 2021/22 at a cost of over £446,000.

Fly tipping

Fly tipping

There was over £117,000 spent on clearing away fly tipped waste deposited on our canal towpaths and other property in 2021/22.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste

£112,000 was spent in 2021/22 on clearing away hazardous waste deposited on our canal towpaths and other property, e.g., televisions, fridges, tyres, fire extinguishers, oil containers etc.

Recycling figures

We are increasing the amount of waste that is recycled every year. In 2021/22, 93% of waste from customer sites, our offices and worksites was diverted away from landfill which is split between being recycled (88%) and waste to energy (5%).

Our contractors collected 6,591 tonnes of waste in the financial year 2021/22, the below shows how this waste was disposed of -

  • Sent to Landfill = 445 tonnes (7%)
  • Waste to Energy (energy from incineration) = 316 tonnes (5%)
  • Recycled = 5,830 tonnes (88%)

We're constantly looking at the services we provide for our customers and waste disposal is no exception. We constantly monitor the services at these sites to make sure they offer our customers what's needed and that they provide value for money for the Trust.

We're dedicated to recycling more and we aim to increase the amount of recycling points available on our waterways with our Green Plan.

Last Edited: 31 March 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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