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Residents want commingling says NLWA chair

Residents needs must be put first to increase England’s flatlining recycling rates, according to a senior local government figure.

Clyde Loakes

Clyde Loakes (left), chair of the North London Waste Authority and councillor at Waltham Forest Council, raised the issue at an All Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) seminar exploring how local authorities are responding to national waste ambitions with limited resources.

He said: “Putting residents needs and understanding about recycling and reuse need to be at the forefront of developing local policies to increase residents participation and the collection of recycling and reuse.”

He added the recycling industry should respond to local circumstances and needs rather than dictating them.

Citing the move to commingled collections at his Waltham Forest constituency, he said: “[There has been] significant increase in participation, which has allowed us to collect more items for recycling, increase the amount of recyclate collected and has led to a massive improvement in the satisfaction with the service up from 60% in 2011 to 86% now.”

Loakes’ comments come after it was revealed that England’s household recycling rate is flatlining, having increased by less than 1% between 2012/13 to 43.2% overall.

Furthermore, the comments come ahead of the Waste Framework Directive, to be enforced from 1 January 2015, which may put councils using commingled collections at risk of legal challenges, if they cannot demonstrate that it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do so.

Tweets from the APSRG seminar:

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Bernard Chase

    Supporters of commingled collections demonstrate a chronic lack of understanding of true recycling businesses and the markets they serve and remain focused solely upon weight based collection targets. Furthermore, they suffer from the delusion that 'technology' can sort everything out afterwards, which it can't.
    The reality is that commingled collection generates a massive residual waste fraction that no one wants and, now that it has become far more difficult to hide this residual fraction in the 'recyclables' we ship to the Far East markets, it is begining to build up in stagnant piles of RDF around the country.
    The recently reported increase in cases of illegal dumping of residual waste and the spate of waste fires around the country are synptomatic of this problem and would indicate that we remain hell bent on continuing to collect the unrecyclable.
    Until we put quality rather than quantity at the top of our recycling agenda I see no propect of this regretable situation improving.

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