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Larac challenges recycling 'standardisation'

Standardisation of recycling services across Britain would take millions of pounds of investment and decades to achieve, according to the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (Larac).

Sally Talbot Larac

Vice-chair Sally Talbot, left, said that taking a “one size fits all” approach to recycling would not necessarily lead to an increase in recycling rates.

“What is right for inner city London is unlikely to be right for rural coastal villages in Devon,” she said.

Although Talbot admitted that consistent services would likely lead to an improvement in the participation rate of householders, the logistics of uprooting current services and communicating those changes was too complex.

“It would take millions of pounds of investment across the country, potentially decades to achieve and masses of communications, and how much more recycling would it generate?”

A more realistic approach would be to standardise the material that is collected across all areas, which would bring clarity to residents on what can and cannot be recycled, Talbot told MRW’s sister title Local Government Chronicle.

She also said the debate should be widened to include manufacturers in standardisation.

“There are several different ways of packaging the same item and different manufacturers package things differently. Maybe we should be talking to them about how they can achieve standardisation of packaging.”

Defra’s latest household waste recycling figures show a 0.7% drop from the same quarter for the previous year.

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