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Major survey of businesses in Wales

could improve profitability and reduce waste. Environment Agency Wales is carrying out a new extensive survey of a range of businesses in Wales to gather key information about how companies deal with their waste.

The industrial and commercial waste survey, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, is targeting a broad spectrum of businesses in Wales. It is a voluntary survey of 1,500 businesses pre-selected at random. It's purpose is to gather data on the type and quantity of industrial and commercial waste produced across Wales in 2007 and whether the waste was sent for disposal or recovery. The survey will also look at whether wastes could be recycled and what are the main barriers to businesses reducing or recycling their waste.

The results of this survey will be used to report to Europe and to monitor targets in the Wales Waste Strategy on reducing business waste and diverting waste from landfill. The survey will also be used to help plan for new waste facilities that need to be developed to help businesses reduce, reuse and recycle their wastes.

The survey, being delivered by consultants Urban Mines, began in August and will continue until January next year. The final report will be available in April 2009. Survey appointments are being arranged by sub-contractors Arete Business Services with face to face visits being conducted by staff from Menter Môn in North Wales and Groundwork in South Wales.

With the average survey lasting no more than an hour, the Environment Agency has already received positive feedback from businesses who are pleased by the efficiency and professionalism of the survey teams.

Director of Environment Agency Wales, Chris Mills said:

“40% of the waste produced in Wales comes from the business sector. It is crucial that businesses minimise the amount of waste produced and reduce the amount ending up in landfill sites. New waste facilities are needed to increase opportunities for firms to recycle their wastes.”

“We want businesses to use the information in the survey report to help them reduce the wastes they produce and to increase the amount of waste re-used and recycled, this can minimise their waste disposal costs and reduce their environmental impact.”

Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, said:
“I am pleased to support this important survey. It will help us obtain an up to date picture of how businesses are performing in respect of managing their wastes, and it will enable us to better target support to help businesses reduce their costs for waste management. At the same time reducing and recycling more of their wastes will ensure that businesses make a contribution towards reducing Wales's carbon and ecological footprints.”

Further information can be found at the dedicated bilingual survey website page: www.wastesurvey.com.

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