Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Organics recycling 'to drop in 2015'

Organics recycling rates are set to drop this year because of councils charging for green waste collections, according to an industry trade body.

Defra’s household waste recycling figures for 2014 showed a slight increase on the previous year, with 48.2% the overall figure.

The department said in its report that the rise had been largely due to an increase in organics recycling of 9.9%.

But Renewable Energy Association (REA) technical director Jeremy Jacobs told MRW the 2014 rise is misleading because it is based on a low figure for 2013, which was less than the previous two years and caused by cold weather.

This increase is unlikely to be replicated next year as many local authorities have started charging residents for green waste collections and food waste schemes are being pulled, Jacobs said.

A prolonged dry spell this year is also likely to give a lower figure than last year, he added, because grass is cut less and fewer arisings are produced.

“The trend is that local authorities are starting to charge for green waste collections and, where they do so, according to WRAP research, you get only a 40-45% uptake. People aren’t prepared to pay £50 a year; they’d rather take it down the tip themselves or, more likely, put it in the black bin, which there is no law against.”

Defra resources minister

The REA, along with WRAP and other trade organisations, recently lobbied resource minister Rory Stewart (left) for mandatory separated collection of organics and a ban on their disposal in landfill.

Other representatives called for streamlining and at least partial standardisation of waste collection across the UK.

The UK is currently aiming for a 50% recycling target by 2020. As it stands, the annual rate would need to increase by at least 1% a year to meet the figure.

Weight-based measurement of organics recycling can be unreliable, Jacobs added, with a warm, wet spring giving an unrepresentatively high figure due to grass cuttings being heavier.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Food waste schemes are not being pulled. This year we have seen several councils introduce separate food waste collections, including Harrow, Bexley, Teignbridge and Wrexham.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Further information:<br/><br/>Bexley Borough Council announced plans in May to stop the combined food and garden collection and replace it with free weekly food recycling and a chargeable fortnightly garden waste service at a cost per resident of £33 per year.<br/><br/>Harrow Council is introducing separate food recycling waste collections from October with residents receiving new food waste bins for a weekly collection.<br/><br/>Teignbridge Council will launch separate food waste collections in September. <br/><br/>Wrexham Council announced plans to introduce food recycling as part of an overhaul of its ageing bin recycling fleet. The council has invested in eight resource recovery vehicles as part of a plan to achieve a 70% recycling target issued by the Welsh government by 2025.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.