Bor­ough re­cy­cling fall­ing says DEFRA

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ @JMacD1988

MORE than 40% of Halton’s house­holds re­cy­cled last year as the re­gion’s rate fell.

Fig­ures from the Depart­ment For En­vi­ron­ment, Food And Ru­ral Af­fairs (DEFRA) showed that the bor­ough was 22nd out of 43 ar­eas in the North West in 2015-16.

The Run­corn and Widnes house­hold re­cy­cling rate of 41.4% placed the bor­ough ahead of neigh­bour­ing ar­eas such as St He­lens and Liver­pool, which had fig­ures of 39% and 29.2% re­spec­tively. How­ever, the bor­ough had the low­est rate out of the four Cheshire lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas.

Cheshire West And Ch­ester, Cheshire East and War­ring­ton came third, fourth, and fifth with re­spec­tive rates of 57.7%, 55.3% and 52.7%.

Across the North West, util­ity com­pany Suez has an­a­lysed the DEFRA fig­ures and dis­cov­ered that re­cy­cling rates fell by 0.4% to 46.1% in the fi­nan­cial year to the of end March 2016, down from 46.5% recorded in 2014-15.

Every re­gion in Eng­land dur­ing 2015-16 ex­pe­ri­enced a de­cline in an­nual house­hold re­cy­cling rates, other than the South West which stag­nated at 47.6%.

The North West’s re­cy­cling per­for­mance is part of a wider trend across Eng­land where the 2015-16 re­cy­cling rate fell na­tion­ally for the first time in 16 years.

Suez’s chief ex­ec­u­tive for re­cy­cling and re­cov­ery in the UK David Palmer-Jones said: “The in­tro­duc­tion of more charg­ing by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for green col­lec­tions – largely gar­den waste – may be de­ter­ring many house­holds from putting their cut­tings out for col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling rates are still mea­sured largely by weight of ma­te­ri­als col­lected with green waste tend­ing to be wet­ter and heav­ier rather than mea­sur­ing the qual­ity and re-use value of re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als col­lected.

“The UK is at a tip­ping point and with­out rad­i­cal change to im­prove Eng­land’s house­hold re­cy­cling rates the UK will not meet its EU agreed tar­get of 50% re­cy­cling rates by 2020.

“Suez rec­om­mends the in­tro­duc­tion of a wider pro­ducer re­spon­si­bil­ity regime in Eng­land, also known as ‘pol­luter pays’ which would see pack­ag­ing mak­ers or man­u­fac­tur­ers taxed in a slid­ing scale ac­cord­ing to the amount of re­cy­clable and non-re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als used and that cost added to the cost of the prod­uct.

“The tax would help pay for bet­ter house­hold col­lec­tion of re­cy­clables and help ad­dress the huge fund­ing challenge that lo­cal gov­ern­ment faces.

“To drive sig­nif­i­cant be­havioural change in Eng­land na­tional pol­icy mak­ers need to ap­ply di­rec­tion from top down to en­cour­age house­holds to put more of their re­cy­clables into the right re­cy­cling con­tain­ers and not left in black bags meant for non-re­cy­clable refuse, and from bot­tom up to en­cour­age pro­duc­ers of ma­te­ri­als to use more re­cy­clable ma­te­rial.”

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