End to recycling postcode lottery! UK government reveals plans for weekly food waste collections across England from 2023
- Every English home will receive easier and more consistent recycling collections
- This includes the rollout of weekly food waste collections to avoid smelly buildup
- Govt ministers are also considering free garden waste collection for every home
In a step towards cutting down on landfill waste, every household in England will receive weekly food waste collections by 2023, the UK government revealed today.
Under proposals unveiled by ministers, every English household will receive separate, weekly food waste collections, which will help stop the build-up of smelly waste that attracts flies and pests.
The development will bring an end to the so-called ‘postcode lottery’ – where different councils have their own rules of how waste is collected, meaning some parts of the nation get food waste collected regularly and some don’t.
Every household in England will receive separate, weekly food waste collections from 2023, the UK government has announced
Acumen Waste Management explains on its website: ‘Household recycling has long been inconsistent across the country.
‘Whilst in some places a wide range of items can be recycled, in others this is limited to just a few types of material.
‘In some areas all items can be placed in one bin to be taken away to be recycled, whereas in others, each needs to be disposed of in a separate receptacle, with incorrect sorting resulting in fines.
‘Some local authorities collect glass whilst others rely on homeowners recycling this themselves at their local bottle bank.
‘Plastic recycling is also another area where there is much disparity, with almost 8 million households in the country unable to recycle this type of product.’
‘Householders want more frequent recycling collections,’ said Environment Secretary George Eustice.
‘Our proposals will boost recycling rates, and ensure that less rubbish is condemned to landfill.’
Government is also planning to easier and more consistent recycling collections across the nation, from glass to plastic and food waste.
In its consultation, published today, it’s set out plans to make recycling easier with a clear list of materials that all local authorities and waste firms must collect.
Ministers are also considering free garden waste collections for every home, which could save householders over £100 million a year in green waste charges.
Currently, councils have discretion on whether to provide the service, which is usually charged for on top of council tax.
‘Regular food and garden waste collections will ensure that they can get rid of their rubbish faster, at no additional cost to them,’ said Eustice.
The measures will help the government meets its ambition of recycling at least 65 per cent of municipal waste by 2035, with a maximum of 10 per cent being landfilled.
Ministers are also committed to eliminating all avoidable waste by 2050.
‘We will end the confusion for millions of homes and businesses having different collections in different areas, helping households recycle more and send less waste to landfill,’ the government said in a post.
Household recycling has long been inconsistent across the country. Most councils in London collect food waste, though not all, and not all collect it from flats or estates. Pictured, rubbish and recycling bins in Tynemouth, North Tyneside
Additional funding and support will be provided to councils for their recycling collections, partly through government’s reform of the packaging sector.
This will see packaging producers covering the full net cost of managing their own packaging waste.
‘This means council taxpayers will not have to foot the bill, and in turn will be able to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging that is thrown away,’ government said.
‘The proposals for consistent collections are part of the government’s wider programme of major waste reforms which will boost recycling, step-up our war on plastic pollution and tackle litter.’
A potential problem with packaging producers covering their own costs is that they may be rushing to adopt replacement materials without fully evaluating their environmental impact, scientists warned last year.
HOW MUCH RECYCLING ENDS UP IN LANDFILL?
Every day, millions of us drop a plastic bottle or cardboard container into the recycling bin – and we feel we’re doing our bit for the environment.
But what we may not realise is that most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead.
Of 30 billion plastic bottles used by UK households each year, only 57 per cent are currently recycled, with half going to landfill, half go to waste.
Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter
Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter.
This is largely due to plastic wrapping around bottles that are non-recyclable.
Every year, the UK throws away 2.5 billion ‘paper’ cups, amounting to 5,000 cups a minute.
Shockingly, less than 0.4 per cent of these are recycled.
Most cups are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic.
This has previously posed issues with recycling but can now be removed.
Five specialist recycling plants in the UK have the capacity to recycle all the cups used on our high-streets.
Ensuring the paper cups end up in these plants and are not discarded incorrectly is one of the biggest issues facing the recycling of the paper vessels.
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