Mixed messages on recycling

Charles Clover in the Times newspaper commented not so long ago on the confusion over recycling in different areas of England. He points out that recycling rates in England have dropped to 43.2% and are in danger of dropping further. He explains that householders are unsure about what can and cannot be recycled, while families are also cynical about whether recyclables are actually recycled. Mr Clover also notes that rates in Scotland and Wales have improved, because of a clear and standardised best practice for recycling schemes.

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I think there is something in this. As a Liberal my usual instinct is not to support standardisation everywhere because it can stifle innovation but here the differences between the approach of local authorities is unhelpful. The priority has to be to get recycling rates up as high as they can go and uncertainty about what can and can’t be recycled is in no ones interest.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Recycling – An interesting take on local authority spending priorities

Thank tank calls for waste revolution

The Circular Economy Task Force has warned that UK councils are spending more on collecting rubbish than on housing or planning. The bodies accumulatively spend £3.9bn on waste, £3bn on housing and £2.3bn on planning, and have been encouraged by the Task Force to reform waste disposal strategies to optimise operations and save money. The report suggests billions could be saved investing in waste and recycling plants, some of which could generate energy from rubbish. Capturing reusable or recyclable products that are currently lost could be worth £1.7bn a year.

This report seems to be saying that there is money and energy to be made if changes are made. I wonder if it is really that simple?

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Recycling of waste – Sefton and elsewhere – And what about yogurt pots!

Recycling rates to slump?

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Rates of recycling rose by just 0.2% in 2012/13 and are predicted to fall by 2% in the year 2013-14, according to waste firm SITA. The firms blames the use of multiple bins for the collection of recycling. “Rates of overall recycling, especially in high density urban areas, are undoubtedly higher when councils and their contractors run a mixed collection service”, said SITA chief executive, David Palmer-Jones. A Defra spokesman said it was working to ensure it meets the EU’s 50% target of recycling half of all household waste by 2020.

Lib Dem Cllr. Simon Shaw promoting recycling

Lib Dem Cllr. Simon Shaw promoting recycling

This is an interesting slant on the recycling issue. In Sefton the Council uses separate bins. I wonder if there is credible evidence to back up what SITA says?

Another related issue in Council areas, like Sefton, is the frustration of residents who want to recycle things like plastic yogurt and butter pots. The items have logos on them saying they can be recycled but many Councils don’t collect them. I think this is a case of people with environmental/green attitudes being ahead of the ability of Councils to deliver the recycling service they demand.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27680027

With thanks to the LGiU for the SITA aspect of this posting.