Recycling opportunities wasted by councils

Analysis by Sky News has revealed that fewer than 10 per cent of councils make recycling compulsory for their residents.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by the news outlet, only 12 of the 200 replying local authorities confirmed that they considered recycling mandatory for households, despite all councils having to offer a recycling service.

With the UK generating more than 200 million tons of waste, with approximately 44 per cent of it being recycled, local councils have the power to decide their own recycling policy and how often waste is collected, with many choosing to educate violating households rather than impose fines.

Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire was highlighted as a council that has made recycling mandatory, with recycling rates increasing from 18 per cent in 2003 to 59 per cent.

Recycling charities say there needs to be more joined-up thinking from the government to help councils enforce recycling, with the Keep Britain Tidy charity campaigning for standardised recycling.

Richard Mcilwain, deputy chief rxecutive at Keep Britain Tidy, told Sky News: “I think there is a role for a recycling blueprint in this country where every local authority does a standard thing, no matter where you are, you get the same materials collected in the same type of boxes, which are the same colour.”

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