Comments made by the Government that it will not set recycling targets for local authorities have been described as “short-sighted” by waste service provider Biffa Municipal.
At the beginning of the month, environment minister Richard Benyon said on 26 April in a written answer in Hansard that: “The revised waste framework directive sets the UK a target of recycling 50% of waste from households by 2020. While this sets an overall ambition for the UK, the Government do not intend to pass this target on to local authorities on an individual basis.”
Biffa Municipal development director Pete Dickson believes the statement is “beyond puzzling”. He added: “The UK has a national target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020, as required by the EU. It’s local authorities that bear most of the burden of sending less and less waste to landfill, so moving the nation closer towards its goal.
“Councils are generally comfortable with individual recycling and composting targets. These give them something specific to aim at, something against which progress can be measured, and something to celebrate when targets are met.”
He added that removing targets would be “a slap in the face” for those councils that have transformed local recycling services with initiatives such as alternate week collections, dry recyclable commingling and wheeled bins, some of which are achieving recycling rates exceeding 70%.