Crates full of recycling

Collections and recycling

Driving greater consistency in household recycling

creating a circular economy


To help put the world on a trajectory to delivering a net zero future we need to accelerate the move to a more sustainable, resource-efficient circular economy.

We can help you work towards increasing the amount of material that is re-used or recycled, minimising waste and reducing the reliance on virgin materials.

The UK Government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, is a bold and radical blueprint for how to achieve this and has far-reaching implications for local authorities across England.

WRAP is playing an integral part in the implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, embedding policies and practices that drive a more circular economy and working to create consistent household collections, separate food waste collections and improving municipal recycling amongst businesses and local authorities.

 The issue

The 2021 municipal recycling rates were 46% in England, reaching a 65% target in the next 15 years will not happen without radical change.

Benefits estimated by WRAP for the period from 2018–2025*

11.6mt of waste
Up to 11.6 million tonnes of materials and food waste collected for recycling over eight years, adding 7 percentage points to the household waste recycling rate for England.
13.2m households
13.2 million households (including flats) provided with a food waste collection service, and 1.1 million more households provided with a dry recycling service.
£33 million
Up to £33 million over eight years in reduced costs to reprocessors from not having to remove contamination from materials before processing.
5.1mt of CO2e
Improved environmental outcomes with up to 5.1 million tonnes CO2e avoided over eight years, benefiting the environment directly and supporting the UK's overall carbon budget targets.

Our vision

To transform recycling across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to a system that emphasizes material quality and markets.

We want to transfer our expertise internationally and help other countries recycle better.

What is WRAP doing?

WRAP is helping to make the economy circular by redesigning systems. From changing design and production to creating new markets for reuse and recycling, and inspiring individuals, we are working through each step of the resource management process to cut waste and pollution, save resources and reduce GHG emissions.

We know that new infrastructure is critical and are working with investors, producers, and collectors to build facilities that will turn waste products into valuable assets.

Working with local authorities and business

WRAP has been working across a number of key areas to develop resources, guidance and practical examples to assist local authorities and organisations - including the waste management industry, businesses and retailers, to improve the quantity and quality of materials collected for recycling.

  • Improving your collections and recycling processes 
  • Helping shape the policy that affects your services
  • Sharing reports and evidence-based research 
  • Providing world renowned citizen communications assets and tools.

Our work in action

WRAP has a successful track record supporting the industry, working with local authorities, communities and organisations to provide real measurable change. The video below shows what can happen to plastic when it's collected for recycling.


How can my organisation take action?

Key operational areas

Key operational areas

Find guidance to improve your policies, processes and results across: contamination prevention; recycling in urban areas; HWRCs; service design; re-use and waste prevention; and commercial waste.

Find out more
Consistency in collections

Consistency in collections

Discover how you can benefit as a local authority or business from achieving greater consistency in your household recycling.

More about our consistency work
Markets and materials

Markets and materials

Find out more about the recovered materials market and how we can help you to improve collection, sorting and reprocessing of organics and dry materials.

More out about markets

Technical support

Local Authorities

You can access free technical support and free resources from WRAP - helping you make your waste and recycling service the best it can be.

Find out more

Explore our citizen campaigns

Our citizen campaigns empower individuals to act, through inspiring messages and practical advice. We offer a range of free tools and assets designed to help increase engagement levels with citizens and organisations.