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Recycling Roundup 6th March

Recycling Roundup 6th March

Recycling Roundup 6th March

Keep Britain Tidy has claimed that recycling rates in England are so low because council recycling schemes are too confusing. There are over 300 recycling schemes in England, and recycling rates vary wildly, from as low as 15% up to 42%. Keep Britain Tidy said that it is difficult to look at improving rates across the board because every local authority is doing something different.

Current local authority targets are to recycle half of all waste by 2020, though this comes from an EU directive, and no one is sure how Brexit will affect this.

London Boroughs are among the worst recycling rates, and none of the councils currently meet the 50% recycling target.

Keep Britain Tidy highlight the example of Wales, which has a 60% recycling rate and where all households have access to a food waste collection scheme. In England, around 7 million tonnes of food is wasted each year. If food waste recycling was more comprehensive, waste could be saved from landfill, and instead it could be processed to create energy.

Image courtesy of WRAP UK

A major press conference at the Mobile Phone World Congress in Barcelona was interrupted multiple times by Greenpeace protestors. The protests were aimed at mobile phone giant Samsung, over what will happen to the 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that were recalled last due to defective batteries. Greenpeace believe that they won’t be properly recycled.

Protestors ran on stage at the conference with banners and scaled the venue, attempting to hang up a huge protest banner.

Recycle for Wales has launched a campaign involving giant bananas in an attempt to get people to increase food recycling. The campaign is funded by the Welsh Government, who said that even though Wales already recycles 50% of its food waste, there is more to be done. Campaigners will wear giant banana costumes at events across Wales, starting in Pontypridd. Why bananas, you might ask? Well it’s to highlight that 240,000 tonnes of banana skins are being thrown away each year, and they could be used to create energy. The campaign states that just one caddy of food waste could produce enough energy to power a TV for 90 minutes. The campaign also emphasises that items like tea bags, egg shells, potato peel and banana skins aren’t edible, but they can be recycled.

Food Waste

The Green Party has called for improved recycling in West Berkshire. They have written to the council, calling for rates to equal EU targets of 2/3 of all waste recycled by 2030. The party is concerned that under half of all household waste in the district is recycled. They are calling on a few local district councils to join forces and come up with a scheme that will allow residents to use their local recycling centre free of charge. They are also asking the council to ban single-use plastics from their offices and to introduce multi-bins in local town centres so that recycling and general rubbish can be separated at source.

Residents in Reading who did not adhere to the council’s tough new recycling rules have had to face the consequences. In the first week of the newly-introduced system, 1,808 recycling bins and boxes were not emptied by the council, as they contained non-recyclable items. The council say that most people have cooperated with the new scheme, and that there has been a considerable awareness campaign in recent months. They stated that they are confident that less bins will remain uncollected as people become more familiar with the rules. Stickers explaining why bins remained uncollected were left for affected residents, outlining what can and can’t be put in to the bins. Residents have been asked to sort through their rubbish and remove the non-recyclables, and put them in a carboard box for collection on the next scheduled collection day.

Reading council need to reduce their waste collection budget by 20% by 2018, as central government funding has been reduced.

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