Councils shamed on household recycling
By Jonathan BarnesTHREE councils in Suffolk have been named among the worst five in the eastern region for household recycling.Figures compiled by the GMB union showed Ipswich Borough Council was bottom of the regional league for recycling waste in 2002/03.
By Jonathan Barnes
THREE councils in Suffolk have been named among the worst five in the eastern region for household recycling.
Figures compiled by the GMB union showed Ipswich Borough Council was bottom of the regional league for recycling waste in 2002/03.
It recycled just 4.8% of dry household waste - such as paper or glass - by tonnage to be ranked last of the 48 councils in the region.
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The figures also showed Waveney District Council was second from bottom, recycling 6.1%, while St Edmundsbury Borough Council was fifth worst, with 7.2%.
Each of the three councils said their performance would be greatly improved for 2003/04 after a drive in improving recycling rates and the introduction of blue bins for recyclable household waste.
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They also pointed out the figures did not include garden and outdoor waste, on which many of the councils have concentrated their resources.
Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council topped the regional table with a recycling rate of 20.1%.
Colchester Borough Council was third top with 17.6%, and Chelmsford Borough Council was 11th was 14.3%.
Other local authorities included were Suffolk Coastal District Council in 17th place with 12.5%, Braintree District Council in 18th spot with 12.3%, Babergh District Council in 24th place with 11.3%, Tendring District Council in 26th spot with 11.2%, Mid Suffolk in 35th place with 9.3% and Forest Heath District Council in 38th spot with 8.9%.
Barbara Moss-Taylor, waste development manager at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The figures are not as bad as they look and if you include composting, our recycling rate was over 15% in 2002/03.
“Our figures for both dry recycling and composting are on the rise and we have increased performance by about 2%.
“We are vastly increasing both our brown and blue bins. There are now 5,000 blue bins in Ipswich and we are issuing another 8,500 next week, with them being rolled out to the whole town in 2005.”
A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “We have introduced blue and brown bin schemes for recyclable waste, which are doing fantastically well, and we are now recycling 60% of the waste that was going to landfill sites.”
Sandra Pell, head of service for waste management at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Last year, our recyclable dry waste increased to near 12% and that was due in the main to our blue bin scheme and kerbside collections of papers, cans and plastics, which began in October.
“We were one of only 10 councils in the UK last year that achieved a combined recycling rate, with composted waste, of more than 35% and this year we are on course for about 50%.”