Lack of publicity blamed for fall in county’s recycling rates

editorial image

The chairman of Lincolnshire Waste Partnership (LWP) blamed a lack of publicity for the county’s fall in recycling rates.

Lincolnshire county councillor Eddie Poll said the partnership did not do enough to remind people to recycle.

A draft joint municipal waste management strategy published by the LWP showed a recycling rate of 46.7% across the county.

This represented a fall in the region since the figure peaked at 52.9% in 2010.

This means that while collection rates have remained stable, the materials collected are not always recyclable.

Members of the council’s Environment and Economic Scrutiny panel raised concern about the drop in rates at a meeting on April 10.

Councillor Poll said that the LWP will do more to bring the recycling levels back up to what they once were.

“People get cheesed off with doing it, so they do it less well and we don’t put anything in the publicity to remind them to keep doing it,” he said.

“Part of this new waste management strategy will be to make the recycling streams simpler to understand.

“Therefore we think people will find it easier to do it and then we hope the rates will go back up.”

Councillor Poll added that the problem with falling rates is a national issue as well as a local one.

He said that the partnership is considering making the same materials collected in recycling bins across the county in order to tackle the problem.

“So each collection authority collects the same materials, not necessarily in the same way, but at least if they collect the same, then neighbours can communicate and talk about putting the same thing in their recycling bins,” he said.

“There’s more than one type of plastic — if we are expecting the public to differentiate between those plastics which are recyclable and those which are not, then that’s not going to happen.

“The easiest thing to do is to say put all your plastics in this bag and we will sort which ones are recyclable when we get them to the transfer station.”

There is currently no set target for authorities to reach for recycling rates, but the LWP has set a draft target of contributing to the national level of 50% by 2020.

It comes after LWP published a draft waste strategy for the eight Lincolnshire authorities.

The joint strategy includes seven collection authorities, one disposal authority and the Environment Agency.

The aim of the partnership is to improve waste collection and the environment across the county.

Members of the public can have their say on the draft strategy which is now out for public consultation until July 8.

Calvin Robinson , Local Democracy Reporting Service