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Councils look to standardise recyclable material collections

Local authority officers want to work on standardising the materials they collect for householders.

Speaking at an IGD Packaging and product resource efficiency conference in London, Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee communications manager Sarah Dagwell said that there was a feeling among officers that we could do a lot more on the materials we collect.

Addressing the packaging and retailing industry audience, she mentioned that local authority officers were willing to take a voluntary agreement, called the Waste Collection Commitment, a step further. It is an agreement set up by the Local Government Association and the Waste & Resources Action Programme to invite local authorities to sign up to this commitment to provide residents with good recycling and waste services.

Dagwell added: The next step in the Collection Commitment will be looking at local authorities to sign up to standard materials, maybe to collect food waste, paper or aluminium cans.

But she explained that councils would not want the issue of standardisation to stop recycling niche materials such as CD covers by excluding them for the collection process.

LARAC chair Joy Blizzard said that LARAC will be encouraging people to sign up to the Commitment.

Dagwells comments come after Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced that the Government expected local authorities to
offer a full collection service for all recyclable items by 2020 (13 October). This should include paper, card, cans, glass and plastic bottles, food and packaging.

A British Retail Consortium spokesman said that authorities are doing what we have been calling for them to do for a long time.

He said that there has been a current inconsistency on what materials local authorities collect for recycling.

The closer we can get where all local authorities are taking all materials for recycling than the better. It helps retailers give out consistent messages across the board about what can be recycled.

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