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Funding needed to boost litter recycling schemes

recoup 3

Lack of funding is preventing local authorities from providing ‘on the go’ disposal schemes, according to Recoup.

The survey of 100 local authorities has prompted Recoup to claim that on-the-go recycling is failing on three grounds:

  • high levels of contamination
  • inadequate budget for consumer communications and education
  • procurement, maintenance and collection costs

Many councils reported that their budget would be better spent on reducing contamination and increasing volume of kerbside collection over the significant costs of procurement, maintenance and collection for ’on the go’ services.

There was also an inadequate budget for consumer communications and education regarding such schemes.

Steve Brunt, joint assistant director of streetscene at Bolsover & North East Derbyshire District Councils said: “We found that the operational difficulties outweigh any potential benefits to ‘on the go’ collections we would have gained through contribution to our combined recycling rate. The cost versus benefit needs to be proven. We have concentrated on increasing performance kerbside dry recycling and organic waste collections.”

The report identified that good data was needed to build the business case for investment to be made for procurement and installation.

Recoup technical manager, Steve Morgan said: “We are increasingly seeing the priority placed to on-the-go services to reduce litter and also provide services for the public to recycle away from home. This survey shows the scale of the challenges that local authorities are facing to provide effective collection services.”

According to the survey, MRFs were the destination for 82% of general recycling material collected, the remaining 18% went to energy recovery, landfill, or a ‘dirty’ MRF (recovering recyclable materials from the residual waste stream).

The end destination for material placed in litter bins was EfW (59%), landfill (28%) to or a dirty MRF (13%).

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