HOUSEHOLDS in Redditch are generating more rubbish despite efforts to boost recycling.
Borough council bosses have now pledged to go ‘back to basics’ in a bid to make it easier for residents to understand what can be put into their green bins.
Official figures show Redditch homes recycled 28.95 per cent of the 28,000 tonnes of household waste collected in 2013/14, slightly down on the previous financial year. The borough’s recycling rate has been on the decline since it peaked in 2007/08 at 32 per cent when fortnightly bin collections were introduced and has stalled in recent years at around the 29 per cent mark.
At the same time the amount of overall waste being generated by households has been growing. In 2011/12 a total of 27,664 tonnes were thrown away which has risen to 28,000 tonnes. During 2013/14 the average household generated 558.94 kilogrammes of waste compared to 553.13kg in 2012/13.
But the situation is not unique to Redditch and the Government is examining what more can be done to get rates growing again across England.
One of the key issues revolves around the fact residents are confused about what can and cannot be
recycled which not only means some waste is going to landfill when it could be recycled but non-recyclable material is ending up in green bins which is having to be sorted out when it gets to the Envirosort plant near Worcester.
Council bosses are now launching a new campaign starting this month when leaflets will be sent out with council tax information to every houseold and landlords, while there will be a focus on individual types of waste, such as plastic and metals, throughout the year.
Detailed feedback from the Envirosort plant will be used to target specific areas with concerns and it is hoped a co-ordinated campaign can be carried out with other councils in the area.
The council also plans to install public recycling bins including in the town centre.
Coun Gay Hopkins, who led a review into the falling recycling rate in 2012, said she believed more radical options such as warnings or fines may have to be considered in the future, alongside education, to encourage those who refused to recycle.
“Recycling is so important and just so easy to do and I can’t understand why some people won’t do it.” she said.
“We are doing all we can to make it easy for them. People need to realise they will pay for it in the end because the cost of landfill is getting more and more expensive.”