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    Recycling Out Of Recession

    Recyling AggregatesAs Britain faces an unprecedented triple-dip recession, fuelled by a 1.5% fall in manufacturing output in January, the message from the government is that the construction industry will lead us back to prosperity. Whether you think they know what they are talking about or not, the theory behind it is sound, even if it may have some flaws in practice.

    The construction industry currently employs over 2 million people, making it one of the largest sectors of the UK economy, but there are an estimated 150,000 construction professionals who are currently unemployed. It is hoped that by getting these people back into work, the economy will start to benefit from the increased productivity and lower unemployment benefits payed out. However with cuts to government spending on public housing projects leading to a 20% downturn in this area, and a 15% cut to infrastructure projects, it is difficult to see where these new jobs will come from.

    One solution may be the recycling sector, which the government are trying to stimulate with the introduction of the Aggregates Levy – an tax on the excavation of raw materials. It was hoped that this would kick-start UK companies to embrace the recycling of construction waste, which accounts for 90 million tonnes here and over 1,000 million tonnes in Europe, and make the UK a leading player in the sector. Large scale adoption of this has yet to materialise, but with raw materials becoming more scarce as well as expensive, the industry must take seriously this more sustainable model.

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