William Eichler 09 November 2018

Swindon’s plans to stop collecting plastic dubbed ‘regressive step’

Swindon’s plans to stop collecting plastic dubbed ‘regressive step’ image

Swindon’s consultation on plans to withdraw the kerbside collection of plastics is a ‘regressive step’, says the environment minister.

The borough council last month announced that it was considering plans to tell households to put mixed plastic items, such as yogurt pots, in the bin with regular waste.

The local authority said they wanted to stop collecting low-grade plastic because rather than being recycled it would often end up in landfill or being illegally dumped.

Environment minister Therese Coffey has written to Cllr Maureen Penny, Swindon’s cabinet member for highways and the environment, outlining her concerns at the proposal.

Dr Coffey warned the decision could send the wrong message to households about the need to recycle.

‘I am concerned about the impact your decision to stop collecting plastics will have on future householder engagement,’ she said.

‘Clear communications are essential and while I understand your concerns about the uncertainty on what happens to recycling once exported, this would suggest the need for clearer communications about end destination of exported plastics rather than stopping certain kerbside collections completely.’

Dr Coffey, who pointed out that Swindon’s recycling rate has dropped 12% since 2010 to 38%, acknowledged the council had concerns about how much recycled low-quality plastics could make on the international market, but added markets had ‘improved since a dip earlier this year.’

Cllr Penny said: 'We would like to thank the minister for her letter. No decisions have been made with regard to how we deal with our plastic waste and our wider strategy on how we deal with all our waste will be considered at next month’s cabinet meeting.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District 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