Only six Essex councils see kerbside recycling increase

Recycle More initiative gets green light for 2020 launch.

Recycling support co-ordinators will encourage, educate and communicate with residents to help drive up recycling rates - Credit: Pixabay

Just six councils in Essex have seen their kerbside recycling rates increase in the past nine years, according to most recent Government data.

Between 2010/2011 and 2019/2020, Colchester went from 40.2%to 58.7%, Maldon from 37% to 58.9% and Tendring from 28.8% to 35.1%.

On average overall recycling rates in Essex hit an all time high – but was only up fractionally from figures nine years previously.

In 2019/20, councils in the county dealt with 731,925 tonnes of waste collected from households. Of this, 52.8% was reused, recycled or composted.

That is the highest rate since records began but the proportion has only increased from 49.1% in 2010/11 and was only up from 50.1% in 2018/19.


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However, the council area is still doing better than England as a whole.

Local authorities in England dealt with 23 million tonnes of waste collected from households in 2019/20. Of that, 43.8% was recycled - below the 50% target set by 2020.

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Greenpeace UK’s political campaigner Sam Chetan-Welsh said: “The UK is now all but certain to miss its 2020 recycling target and that is just another sign of how broken our waste system is.

“The root of the problem is that we’re still producing way more rubbish than our recycling sector can cope with.

“That’s why the UK Government must set legally binding targets to cut single-use plastic in half by 2025, ban exports of plastic waste, and introduce an all-inclusive deposit return scheme for drinks containers. Bottling it is no longer an option – it’s time for ministers to show some bottle.”

David Renard, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “Households have made a real shift over the past decade to ensure they are recycling as much as possible and councils work hard to share information on what can and can’t be recycled."

The Environment Bill, currently going through Parliament, includes measures to make producers cover the cost of collecting and recycling packaging waste and to introduce deposit return schemes and charges for single-use plastic items, and will ensure consistent recycling schemes for households across England.

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