Veolia has called for a national policy to limit the amount of bins at UK households ahead of the implementation of new European regulations in January 2015.
Under the EU revised Waste Framework Directive, local authorities will need to separately collect paper, metal, plastic and glass unless it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do so.
Veolia thinks that this would be too much to ask to householders and has called for a four-bin limit. Technical director Richard Kirkman said: “Veolia is as committed to recycling as the EU, it’s our business, but we want to ensure the new EU laws are viable for the public and practical for residents.”
He added: “With modern technology, paper, metal and plastic can all be separated post-collection to the required standard. The public are very supportive of recycling, but we must make it easy for them.”
The company said that waste should be separated into four groups: glass, organic waste, other recyclables and black bag waste.
However, draft Environment Agency guidance on the enforcement of the EU regulations obtained by MRW indicated that the rules did not require households to increase the number of waste containers.
“It is not true that separate collection means that every household must have more bins. Many areas have kerbside sort systems,” the document said.
Veolia cited the results of a recent survey by pollster YouGov, which showed that 69% of respondents thought that they should not be expected to separate waste into more than four bins.
Only 12% of respondents said that using six or more bins would be reasonable.