The UK Sustainable Development Strategy requires that society strive to make prudent use of natural resources so as to protect the environment and maintain high and stable levels of economic growth and employment. The Waste Strategy for England and Wales emphasises the need to reduce the amount of waste produced through the adoption of waste minimisation methodology. Waste minimisation clubs have been a key element in the UK programme to introduce more sustainable practice into industry and commerce. Northamptonshire, a county in the East Midlands of England, has benefited from 20 waste minimisation/resource efficiency projects, within a county programme, that have run between 1997 and 2004. This is the largest number in any county in England. This has been possible because of the formation of a large and inclusive partnership that contains all the key Local and Regional players. Performance Indicators have been developed to direct the county programme as it strives to introduce more sustainable waste management practice. The Northamptonshire model has led to a catalysed uptake of sustainable waste management practice in some 574 companies, some 13.4% of participating companies in England in same period, thereby contributing to the maintenance of stable levels of economic activity. However, an inherent limit has been reached with waste minimisation club provision. Future provision for resource efficiency must include the movement towards Industrial Symbiosis (IS) and ultimately Industrial Ecology (IE). The radical shift towards IS and IE will occur as a response to the increased quantification of the resource flows, in a given UK economic area, and the deeper understanding of the diversity and complexity of the systems.
Phillips, P. S., Barnes, R., Bates, M. P., & Coskeran, T. (2006). A critical appraisal of an UK county waste minimisation programme: The requirement for regional facilitated development of industrial symbiosis/ecology. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 46(3), 242-264. . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2005.07.004