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LARAC chief confident about achieving 25% recycling in 2006

By Greg Pitcher

Andy Doran has backed the UK to meet its 25% recycling target in 2005/6 but insisted that gaining approval for composting sites must be made easier first.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee chairman was positive about last weeks Municipal Waste Management Survey results but saw need for improvement.

The household waste recycling rate was up two percentage points from the previous year to 14.5% in 2002/3, and kerbside collection grew to 34% of this total.

Doran said this was mainly due to increased collections of organic material, and insisted this must be sustained by the provision of outlets for the waste.

From what Ive seen 17% in 2003/4 is in sight; two years ago I would not have been so optimistic, he said.

The investment made in those two years has not paid all dividends yet and I think we will see this increasing recycling further. I remain confident that the 25% target can be met.

But with the targets as they are, I think we should be trying to get as much kerbside collection of recyclables as we can.

The growth of kerbside has largely been due to organic collections but the planning system seems to be slowing down the process.

The biggest barrier to increasing recycling rates is not having access to the facilities. There are too many planning committees.

Doran also backed the growth of alternate-week collections after controversy about the potential health risk they pose.

It seems to me that fortnightly refuse collections are the way local authorities can increase recycling and keep their costs down, he said.

I have not seen anything to suggest any real risks to the health of the public or collection staff.

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