Laura Sharman 16 December 2016

Recycling rates fall for first time

Recycling rates fall for first time image

Recycling rates in the UK have decreased for the first time since records began, figures have revealed.

The official statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) shows that rate of household recycling has fallen from to 44.3% from 44.9% in 2015.

The figures also show that the amount of rubbish successfully recycled fell from 44.8% last year to 43.9% in the year ending in March 2016.

Waste experts have warned that cuts to councils’ budgets are responsible for the fall in recycling rates. LARAC is calling for a fundamental review of the funding for council waste services and for concepts such as Extended Producer Responsibility and Direct Charging to be explored and implemented.

Andrew Bird, chair of LARAC, said: ‘We are obviously disappointed that the rates have gone down for the first time. But when waste services are competing for a reduced budget with adult care, education and social services it is clear something is going to give. We need to establish new funding streams into local authorities to ensure the recycling rate increases again.’

The figures show that South Oxfordshire District Council has maintained its title as England’s best recycling council for the third year in a row. The council, whose recycling and refuse is collected by municipal contractor Biffa, had a recycling, reuse and composting rate of 66.6% for 2015-16.

Biffa Municipal managing director Roger Edwards said: ‘It’s well-documented that England’s recycling rate has stalled. I attribute this to greater focus on quality, closer scrutiny of ‘dry’ household recyclables at the point of collection, and increased rejection because of contamination.

‘We should all work harder to ensure that household recyclables such as paper, card, plastics, and metal and glass containers are as clean as possible when put out for collection, and that they aren’t adulterated. Contamination can cause entire lorry-loads of recyclables to be rejected, at high cost to already-stretched councils.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

SEN Caseworker Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 - £32,029 per annum pro rata
The ideal candidate will have experience of working with children and young people with SEND or additional needs in children’s services including... Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Speech and Language Therapist - Personalised Learning Pathways

North Yorkshire County Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum pro rata
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the PLP programme which supports young people (16-25) to develop and progress through... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Social Workers x3 - FS&P - Basildon

Essex County Council
£39164 - £47404 per annum + + Free Parking & Excellent Package
We are looking for an experienced, motivated and creative social worker to join our team. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Deputy Chief Executive & s.151 Officer

Wychavon District Council
package to £90k
This is an exceptional career development opportunity, and the perfect role for a talented public service leader with ambition. Worcestershire
Recuriter: Wychavon District Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Up to £237 per day + Umbrella
Managing a defined caseload, the social worker is responsible for working effectively with children, young people and families/carers to achieve positive change and improved outcomes. England, Essex, Basildon
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