Stalling Recycling Rates - The Low Down


Last week saw the latest provisional waste management statistics released by The Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and with them a renewed concern for stalling recycling figures.

For some time now issues have been raised regarding the plateauing of recycling rates with the industry calling for increased efforts from the Government to be proactive in its encouragement of household waste recycling.  With fundamental issues being reported as confusion over what can and cannot be recycled within households, resulting in only a quarter of households recycling waste correctly.

Back in 2013 waste minister Dan Rogerson informed the industry that there would be “reductions to our activities” with Defra “stepping back in areas where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure”. The results of which have seen the lack of government lead initiatives negatively impacting the figures, with predictions of further downturns fuelling concerns even more.

Recycling Bins

The industry is now looking towards new teams at the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and Defra to reprioritise efforts and reenergize recycling rates through increased public awareness across the country. Spokesperson for the Environmental Services Association (ESA) Jakob Rindegren stated,

"ESA strongly encourages the new UK Government to work with all parts of the supply chain to make sure the downturn is as short-lived as possible."

If positive steps are not taken by the Government to work collaboratively with the industry, the directives of recycling half of all household waste by 2020 to fall in line with current EU targets will be unachievable. 

 

Sources:

Waste stake holders letter & Governemnt Statistics: www.gov.uk

James Murray @ Business Green