Recycling rates worsen in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 June 2016

Recycling rates have dropped in the past year.

Recycling rates have dropped in the past year.

Archant

The amount of rubbish recycled across North Somerset last year has fallen compared to the previous year, while the amount of waste in the district which is sent to landfill sites has increased.

North Somerset Council says the figures are due to changes in the way recycling rates are calculated, and promised it would work with parish and town councils to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish in a sustainable way.

Overall, some 448kg of rubbish per household across North Somerset was not recycled or composted in 2015-16, compared to 439kg the year before.

In addition, more than 19 per cent of the district’s black bin waste was sent to landfill sites during the past year, while only 17 per cent of this rubbish ended up as landfill in 2014-15.

The council said its recycling rates were still ‘impressive’ despite the reductions, which it claimed are comparable with national trends.

A council spokesman said: “There has been a slight change in the way the recycling is being calculated, which has had a small impact on the overall recycling percentage.

“Last year our recycling rate was still a very impressive 58.6 per cent. Nationally, recycling rates have generally levelled off, with increases being experienced in waste to landfill.”

One of the ways in which the council is aiming to improve recycling rates is through its parish recycling scheme, which was launched earlier this year and is worth £120,000. It sees the council working with town and parish councils to promote recycling in their areas.

The council’s executive member with a responsibility for waste, Peter Bryant, said at the time of its launch the scheme could lead to more than £1million in savings, if people dispose of their rubbish correctly.

The council’s spokesman said: “Residents in North Somerset do a great job at recycling and the council will continue to work with residents to further improve recycling rates.

“One initiative is the launch of the parish recycling scheme. This innovative scheme was awarded grant money from the Department of Communities and Local Government and is designed to encourage town and parish councils to work with their local communities and promote waste prevention, reusing and recycling.

“This month we have had a series of composting events and in the autumn we will run a series of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) amnesty and reuse events across the district.”

The council also said it was hoping to improve its number of missed rubbish collections which, despite falling compared to the previous year, were still below the authority’s own targets.

It also confirmed it wanted to reduce the amount of food waste which ended up in black bins, as this could be sustainably reused and turned into electricity and compost.

The spokesman said: “An analysis in March 2016 showed food waste accounted for 24 per cent of the weight of the contents in bins.

“We will shortly be raising awareness of this issue and making residents aware of the food waste recycling service, which sees food waste being treated locally in Weston and generating enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.

“Missed collection figures have improved through clearer information being provided to crews and increased client monitoring.

“We are still below the figure we want to achieve and have set higher targets to be achieved in the new recycling and waste contract, which starts on March 1, 2017.”

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