More than four in five (83%) UK tradespeople say they could recycle more of their work waste, but don’t because they aren’t confident on the rules and regulations, new research has found.
The study by IronmongeryDirect found that almost nine in 10 (87%) tradespeople feel uncertain about waste management laws.
In fact, the vast majority (80%) of workers don’t know where their local recycling facilities are located.
However, there is a strong appetite to address the issue. Almost a quarter (24%) of tradespeople say they are actively trying to reduce the amount of excess they send to landfill, and a similar number (28%) would like more support from local authorities to be able to recycle more.
Furthermore, a fifth (20%) try to reuse any materials leftover from jobs and almost one in six (16%) donate spare parts to good causes.
Perhaps due to the nature of their work, some trades are more likely to recycle their waste than others.
Plumbers recycle the most often, with almost three-quarters (73%) saying they do so either always or most of the time. This could be because they are the most knowledgeable about waste management regulations (23%), suggesting education is key.
Interestingly, young tradespeople are far more likely to send waste to landfill than their older counterparts. Almost a third (31%) of millennials (25-34) say their excess materials go straight to the tip, which is more than double the figure for 45-55-year-olds and over 55s (both 12%).
However, millennials are also the most vocal about wanting support to recycle more (36%), showing an eagerness to be more environmentally friendly.
Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, says: “Tradespeople are naturally going to produce waste in their line of work, and while more could be recycled, it’s clear that there’s a real willingness to be as green as possible.
“The figures around young workers in particular point to a clear opportunity to educate and train the next generation of tradespeople in more sustainable practices.
“That’s why we’ve partnered with waste management experts to explain the rules tradespeople need to follow and give advice on how to dispose of each material.”