Essex: Friends of the Earth say Tendring council is rubbish at recycling

GREEN campaigners have criticised a council for being rubbish at recycling after figures revealed that it is one of the worst performing authorities when it comes to disposing of household waste.

Tendring District Council recycled about 27% of the household waste it collected in 2009/10 – the second lowest percentage among local authorities in the East of England according to Defra.

Harwich Penninsula Friends of the Earth is now campaigning for the authority to improve its services and send less rubbish to be buried or burnt.

Group co-ordinator Adam Roxby said: “We’re all frustrated by having to bin unnecessary packaging and the stuff that the council doesn’t recycle.

“We are falling behind on curb-side recycling compared to other council’s in Essex and we don’t think that the recession should be used as an excuse. More recycling doesn’t mean more hassle or sorting – the best collection services are the simplest for householders and the most cost-effective for our cash-strapped councils.

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“We would like to see Tendring extend its services and start picking up food and green waste.”

He added that councils like Tendring needed a boost from Westminster and that Friends of the Earth groups around the country are taking part in a day of action calling for a nationwide goal of halving the amount of rubbish people put in their black bin bags by 2020.

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Nigel Brown, the council’s communications manager, said that the council does not collect green waste or kitchen waste for composting and instead encourages its residents to home compost.

“Our residents do an excellent job of home composting and 22,000 bins have been sold,” he said. “Although there is a significant amount of home composting in Tendring this is not reflected in our recycling figures as it does not count towards them.”

Mr Brown added that the council is, however, going out to tender for a new waste collection contract to begin in 2012 and the options include collection of food waste for composting.

Only Great Yarmouth Borough Council which sent just over 26% of its waste for recycling performed worse in the Eastern region, according to the figures from the department of environment, food and rural affairs (Defra).

Rochford District Council which recycled just over 61% was top for the region. Colchester Borough Council and Maldon District Council recycled about 36% and Braintree District Council recycled about 49%.

On Saturday Harwich Penninsula Friends of the Earth is inviting members of the public to Harwich Park bandstand between 10am and 1pm to contribute to a giant collage made from rubbish found on the streets of Harwich.

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