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Government ‘doesn’t understand reality’ on proposed waste targets, advisers say

By on November 13, 2022 0

Councilors in Nottingham have accused the government of ‘not understanding reality’ over proposed recycling targets which could lead to more bins to separate waste.

The government has set a national target to increase the amount of waste recycled in England to 65%, while keeping the waste that ends up in landfill below 10%.

While Nottingham currently only sends around 8% of its collected waste to landfill, the council says its recycling rates need to be improved.

The city’s recycling rate in 2019 was 27%. By October of this year, it had fallen to 23.9%.

Waste that is not recycled or sent to landfill is incinerated to create energy.

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The council is now holding a public consultation, which will end on December 14, to determine how waste will be collected going forward as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2028.

The proposals were discussed at a meeting of Nottingham City Council’s review committee at Loxley House on November 9.

Antony Greener, a council officer working in waste and sustainability, said: ‘The philosophy of central government is that the more you separate that source and have the household sort it for you rather than sort it centrally in a sorting facility, the highest quality of product you end up with.

“Unfortunately, at the end of this string, it’s up to the general public to do more than what they’re doing now, which is to put it in a single bin. That’s why we’ve featured some new options.

Residents are invited to choose between two different waste collection methods: Twin stream and multi-stream.

The double stream means that residents will receive a container for food waste, collected weekly, as well as a container for paper and cardboard and a bin for their remaining recycling, including glass, plastic and cardboard.

These will be collected fortnightly.

Multi-stream will mean residents will receive multiple containers for food waste, paper and cardboard, as well as separate containers for each recycling material like glass and plastic.

This method will require a new type of garbage truck and the waste will be collected weekly.

More than 30% of waste collected from green bins in Nottingham is food waste. Therefore, a separate food waste container would be provided in both cases.

Penalties for repeat offenders in recycling contamination are also being discussed.

Many advisors, however, have raised concerns that the new systems could prove problematic.

Hyson Green and Arboretum Cllr, Merlita Bryan (Lab), said, “I think it’s going to be very, very difficult in some areas.

“With all these bins, some people don’t have enough room to put one bin, let alone two or three.”

Cllr Georgia Power (Lab), who represents Bestwood, echoed Cllr Bryan’s concerns and said: ‘This proposal, I understand the reasons why we need to do this, but it sounds like something someone in Whitehall proposed without understanding the reality. .

“In my neighborhood we have apartments where there is no physical space to put more than one residual bin, it’s not that they wouldn’t, it just doesn’t exist.

“We have apartments with bin chutes with disabled residents who couldn’t carry their bags up the stairs. Again, we have a lot of elderly or disabled residents who couldn’t carry large boxes or bags to the front.

Mr Greener added that it would be a “five to ten year transition” and that new systems will be tested before being rolled out across the city.

Food waste trials will first be piloted in areas such as Berridge and Dales neighborhoods to gauge success before implementation.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been contacted for comment.

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