Defra reveals new plans to boost recycling

Every home in England will receive easier and more consistent recycling collections, under new plans to boost recycling and protect the environment.

Under new Defra proposals, every household will receive separate, weekly food waste collections from 2023, which will stop the build-up of smelly waste that attracts flies and pests.

Plans being considered also include the introduction of statutory guidance on new minimum service standards for rubbish and recycling collections, subject to an assessment of affordability and value for money. This could recommend a minimum service standard of residual waste at least once a fortnight alongside the weekly collection of organic waste. Councils would continue to be supported to collect more frequently than the minimum standard, which is especially important in urban areas, with less space to place bins and homes that have small or no gardens.

Ministers are also considering free garden waste collections for every home, which could save householders over £100 million a year in green waste charges. Currently, councils have discretion on whether to provide the service, which is usually charged for on top of council tax.

The government will also set out plans to make recycling easier with a clear list of materials that all local authorities and waste firms must collect from homes and businesses, specifically plastic, paper and card, glass, metal and food waste, as well as garden waste for households. This means we will end the confusion for millions of homes and businesses having different collections in different areas, helping households recycle more and send less waste to landfill.

Additional funding and support will be provided to councils for their recycling collections, partly through our reform of the packaging sector which will see firms covering the full net cost of managing their packaging waste.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Householders want more frequent recycling collections. Regular food and garden waste collections will ensure that they can get rid of their rubbish faster, at no additional cost to them. Our proposals will boost recycling rates, and ensure that less rubbish is condemned to landfill.”

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