The final council in England not collecting plastics from households has agreed to do so after being rebuked by resource minister Therese Coffey.
Rotherham Borough Council published its budget from April earlier this month and also announced the results of a consultation on its recycling regime, prompting it to reverse earlier decisions not to collect plastics from the kerbside.
The only other collection authority still thought to be in this position, Copeland Borough Council, decided in November 2017 to collect plastics from April.
In January, Coffey (pictured) wrote to Rotherham council urging a rethink of its decision.
The local paper quoted her letter: “We have made it clear in our 25-year plan for the environment that reusing and recycling plastics is critical if we are to stem the damage to our seas and wider natural environment, and we need all parts of society and all sectors of the economy to play their part.
“I would strongly urge Rotherham council to rethink its approach to the collection of plastic waste from households, to improve both the quantity and quality that is recycled and make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle from the kerbside.”
The overall budget, approved on 19 February, meant an increase in council tax of nearly 6%, half of which is ringfenced for adult social care. But nearly £1m of the extra cash will allow kerbside collection of plastics, which was “an issue that has been raised as a priority by residents in the recent waste service consultation”.
In a statement, council leader Chris Read said: “We have listened closely to residents who told us that we have to change the way that we collect household waste, as they want to see plastics collected for recycling at the kerbside.
“We are therefore setting aside the additional council tax we are able to raise this year to make provision for this, and we will bring forward more detailed proposals over the coming weeks.”
- In the local authority collection statistics for 2016-17, Rotherham’s rate was 42.1% while Copeland’s was 32.5%.