William Eichler 14 January 2016

Authorities exceeding recycling expectations, but more must be done, says union

Authorities exceeding recycling expectations, but more must be done, says union image

73 councils in England already meet or exceed the EU recycling rate target of 50% of household waste by 2020, but more investment is needed if this progress is to continue, according to GMB.

The union argues that while a lot of progress is being made in recycling, more investment in vehicles and equipment and safer methods of working are needed to protect workers in the sector.

The data, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for the year 2014/15, shows that in the 320 councils in England, out of the total household waste of 23,169,167 tonnes some 10,117,005 tonnes were sent for recycling, composting or reuse.

The top ten councils for recycling were: South Oxfordshire District Council where 67.3 of household waste is recycled, Vale of White Horse District Council (65.6%), Rochford District Council (65.2%), Surrey Heath Borough Council (63.3%), Three Rivers District Council (63.2%), Trafford MBC (61.9%), Stockport MBC (60.7%), Calderdale MBC (60.4%), Stratford-on-Avon District Council (60.3%) and North Somerset Council (60.1%).

The ten councils in England with the worst record for recycling household waste are: Gosport Borough Council (23.5%), Barking and Dagenham (23.4%), Portsmouth City Council (22.7%), Hammersmith and Fulham (20.7%), Wandsworth (20.7%), Bassetlaw District Council (19.2%), Westminster City Council (19.1%), Newham (17.2%), Lewisham (17.1%), and Council of the Isles of Scilly (14.1%).

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer for refuse and recycling workers, said:

‘We are well on the way for many councils to meet the EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of waste generated by households by 2020. In addition to this, for the first time more waste is incinerated with energy recovery (30.1% of all local authority collected waste) than has been sent to landfill sites (24.6%). Although recycling is preferable, it still means less waste being sent to landfill.’

Describing the recycling sector as the most dangerous in the country to work in, Mr Bowden said:

‘GMB's research tells us two things. First, we need a sharing of expertise and knowledge, which is vital to bring the recycling underachievers up to the levels of their peers. Second, to raise recycling levels even further, and make this sector safer, requires more staff to be employed, more investment in vehicles and equipment and safer methods of working to keep those providing these vital services safe.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Manager - Disability Transition (Part Time)

Essex County Council
£58727 - £66963 per annum + + Local Gov Package
Service Manager - Disability Transition (Part Time)Permanent£58,727 to £66,963 Per Annum, Pro RataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Traffic Projects Officer

City of York Council
£27,614 to £30,602 pro rata per annum
We have a great opportunity for a Projects Officer to join our busy Traffic Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Accountant

City of York Council
£36,476 to £41,830 per annum
An exciting opportunity for an experienced accountant to work in our People Directorate Finance Team, which covers support for... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Apprentice Welder

City of York Council
£12,656
This post will  contribute towards the provision of an efficient and effective service/team in highway metalwork repairs and... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Adult Social Workers - Basildon

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Adult Social Workers - BasildonPermanent, Full Time£32,065 - £43,839 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue