Waste chief wants recycling growth
Chairman targets households ‘throwing everything into the bin without thinking about it’
NEW waste partnership chairman Mike Smith is on a mission to improve recycling rates in the county.
Cllr Smith, a Chiltern District councillor representing Holmer Green, and Bucks County Council cabinet member for environment, was appointed chairman of the waste partnership for Bucks in May.
He said: “We really do need the public’s help to improve our recycling rates and to get the message across that when individuals make small changes to their daily routine, they can make a big difference to our environment. The problem is many people are excellent while others are not so bothered, and the aim is to get everyone up to the same level.
“Some households throw everything into the bin without thinking about it while others are more scrupulous.”
Cllr Smith identified plastic bags and expanded polystyrene as materials he would like to see as future recyclables.
“We get loads and loads of packaging and that is really tough to deal with. It is a big volume and is a nightmare to get rid of,” he said. “We need to reduce the residual waste as far as possible because it costs so much to get rid of, and ultimately that cost falls on the taxpayer.”
He urged residents to re-use as many products as possible. Last year, the county’s recycling rate broke through the 50 per cent mark for the first time. The rate currently stands at 54 per cent and Cllr Smith is adamant the target of 60 per cent by the year 2020 is easily achievable.
The waste partnership comprises the five local authorities in the county – Aylesbury Vale, Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks district councils, which are responsible for waste collection, and Buckinghamshire County Council, which is responsible for waste disposal.