Sorted Material Recovery in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The Sorted Material Recovery industry is expected to continue on its growth path over the next five years through 2018-19 supported by increased government regulation and practices in a bid to reduce waste and divert waste products from landfill sites and also a recovery in the commercial, construction and industrial sectors, which should lead to increase waste and demand for recycled materials. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Sorted Material Recovery industry.

IBISWorld industry market research
Revenue sorted: Operators recover revenue through increased regulations and recycling rates

Operators in the Sorted Material Recovery industry recycle materials that are then sold on to wholesalers and re-processors. The main materials sorted are metal, paper, glass and plastic. The volume of recyclable material sorted and sold is growing, despite falling volumes of total waste due to various automated and computerised processes, falling consumption and falling production levels over the past five years. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Lewis Sutton, “the recycling rate is climbing as public concern for the environment continues to grow and a raft of government policies to divert waste from landfill is underpinning an increase in the collection of recyclables and investment in sorting capacity”. Over the five years through 2013-14, industry revenue is estimated to increase at a compound annual rate of 2.8% to total £9.2 billion.
All has not been entirely rosy for the industry over the past five years with growth rates dropping well below accustomed levels over the past three years. The materials sorted and sold by operators are considered commodities and are therefore subject to significant volatility in commodity prices. These prices plunged following the 2008 financial crisis resulting in subdued growth rates for the industry. Consumption also fell as consumers were forced to cut back on purchases; the lagged effect of this resulted in a rare revenue decline in 2010-11. In addition to this, commercial and industrial waste has fallen as both these sectors remain constrained from the sustained economic downturn, reducing material recycling facility gate fees. The industry is expected to post moderate growth of 2.9% in 2013-14.
Over the next five years through 2018-19, the industry is expected to bounce back from its momentary lapse and continue to grow. Sutton adds, “industry operators will benefit from increased government regulation and practices in a bid to reduce waste and divert waste products from landfill sites”. Industry growth will be supported by increasing recycling rates and a recovery in the commercial, construction and industrial sectors, which are likely to increase waste and demand for recycled materials. However, growth rates are not likely to match those the industry has become accustomed to as recycling becomes less of a novelty and the growth loses its initial momentum.
The Sorted Material Recovery industry has a low level of market share concentration as the four largest companies account for only 23.5% of the market. Major companies include Veolia ES Holdings and Biffa Group.
For more information on the Sorted Material Recovery industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry comprises firms involved in the sorting and recovery of recyclable material such as metal, paper, plastic and glass from waste. It includes the operation of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and sorting of scrap metal.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (020) 3008 6568.

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Gavin Smith
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