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“Not good enough” Ipswich recycling rate revealed

PUBLISHED: 21:35 30 October 2018

Phil Smart said Ipswich Borough Council was doing its best to ensure the right waste went into the right bins Picture: IBC

Phil Smart said Ipswich Borough Council was doing its best to ensure the right waste went into the right bins Picture: IBC


Ipswich is “doing its level best” to recycle as much waste as possible it has been claimed, as new figures reveal below expected targets.

Ipswich Borough Council waste collection figures for 2017/18 Picture: ARCHANT/INFOGRAMIpswich Borough Council waste collection figures for 2017/18 Picture: ARCHANT/INFOGRAM

Data published for Thursday’s Ipswich Borough Council scrutiny committee revealed that the percentage of household waste collected for recycling for 2017/18 was 19.8% – compared to 21.1% last year and below the 22.7% target.

Black bin waste meanwhile was higher than expected, with 542.9kg being collected per household against a target of 519.6kg.

Scrutiny committee member Richard Pope, Conservative, said it was “not good enough”.

“I am disappointed recycling is down and residual [black bin] waste is up,” he said.

Blue bin collection was below target Picture: BILL DARNELLBlue bin collection was below target Picture: BILL DARNELL

“It’s not a little bit, it’s huge. The fact of the matter is we are nowhere near the target in either of those.

“Global warming is happening, what are we doing in Ipswich?

“The fact of the matter is recycling needs to be done, and it’s not good enough.”

The data compiled for Thursday’s meeting said the fall in recycling collection was a national trend, with recyclable packaging now being made of lighter material, which meant the overall weight collected was reduced.

Ordinary black bin waste was heavier, with items such as glass and nappies in particular being disposed of in black backs bringing the weight up, according to the council.

The percentage of household waste sent for composting was at 17.9% however – well above the 10% target.

Labour councillor Phil Smart, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “We are by no means atypical of the whole county.

“If you look anywhere else it is a trend that is Suffolkwide.”

He added: “I am satisfied this authority is doing its level best to ensure stuff does not end up where it shouldn’t, but we have to have the co-operation of the population in this town to do that.”

Glass is not currently collected separately in Ipswich, and the estimated cost of introducing a kerbside glass collection would be around £1.1million, Mr Smart said.

The high turnover of Ipswich residents compared to other more rural areas meant they had to educate people on what could and couldn’t be recycled more frequently, according to the council.

Mr Smart said a national campaign was needed to highlight the cause, while collection teams checked bins where they could to make sure there were no wrong items.

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