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Green waste charge lowers council's recycling ambitions

Birmingham City Council has reduced its recycling target for the coming year after a charge on green waste collections contributed to it falling short of its goal by 6% this year.

The council reused, recycled or composted only 29% of its household waste in 2014/15, 2% less than the previous year, while it produced 622kg of residual waste per household, missing its target by 22kg.

It will now lower its missed household waste target of 35% to 30% for 2015/16, with the residual waste goal remaining.

The council said in its corporate performance report that its recycling rate would have been 33% were it not for the introduction of a £35 charge for green waste collections negatively affecting its performance.

Green waste collection was down by 11,000 tonnes compared with the previous year’s result. The council believes performance will continue to be reduced by about 2% in 2015/16.

Problematic recycling of wood and paper, due to a reduction in newspapers and pamphlets produced, were also given as reasons for reducing its recycling target next year.

But the council believes the completion of its rollout of green waste wheelie bins, currently 50% completed, towards the end of this year will have a positive impact.

The local authority said its service will also improve through communications distributed with the wheelie bins and messages on refuse vehicles.

The council said in its report: “An action plan is in place to reduce contaminated recyclables by educating both residents and the crews on what can and cannot be recycled.”

As reported by MRW, an MP was ordered to pay £13,101 in costs last year after losing a legal case against the council over charges for green waste collection.

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