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    Landscapers ‘could do more’ to recycle waste, according to experts

    Waste expert Harsha Rathnayake is urging the sector to clean up and recycle, reuse and compost materials where ever it can.

    The majority of garden waste is biodegradable but other materials, like concrete and pre-treated wood, people can recycle, rather than dumped into landfill.

    Mr Rathnayake, the founder of JunkHunters, a UK waste management service, believes by sorting the waste they collect, landscapers and gardeners could make a difference to the environment.

    Organic garden waste is the easiest to dispose of and can be composted. Bagging it up and sending to landfill means it will not break down naturally and instead methane and harmful gases are released.

    Decorative edging, decking materials, broken down concrete and fencing panels are much harder to dispose of, but all can be easily sorted and sent to the appropriate recycling facility.

    Other items like garden tools and equipment customers are throwing away, garden furniture and garden buildings can be sold on or given to organisations which can put them to good use.

    My Rathnayake believes by sorting rubbish correctly, the landscaping and gardening sector could make a positive difference to the environment.

    He said: “Businesses are slowly becoming more conscious of the waste materials they produce and in a sector like this where it is possible to recycle the bulk of materials, then there really should be no excuse.

    “Currently the UK collects around 2.4 million tonnes of garden waste annually which is composted. If you add on to that the amount of waste collected from commercial jobs, then that’s a lot that is turned into compost and put back into the ground.

    “But just because a lot of the waste is organic or recyclable, it doesn’t mean it always gets reused or recycled in the best way possible.

    “If a landscaper has a lot of garden rubbish to dispose of, then finding a company who will collect and recycle on their behalf is what they need.

    “At JunkHunters recycling is very important to us. We currently recycle 75% of all the waste we collect and are working towards a target of 80%.

    “If materials can’t be reused, then we assess whether they can be recycled, and we work closely with landscapers across the UK to ensure materials reach the relevant processing and recycling centres.”

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