Poll Finds Councils Hit with Soaring Recycling Costs
A snapshot poll by the Local Government Association has claimed that the cost for councils of recycling has increased by, on average, £500,000.
It added that 20% of councils have felt a direct impact on China’s restrictions on imports of mixed paper and certain types of plastic over the last year.
According to the LGA, the fee charged to councils to process materials from kerbside collections at a materials recovery facility has increased from £15 per tonne to £22 per tonne. The fee has increased to £35 a tonne compared with £29 a tonne for contracts signed in the last year.
Martin Tett, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said: “It’s clear that the ban by China on imported waste, which could soon be implemented from other countries, could have a marked impact on councils’ ability to recycle. It’s essential that the government provide support to help councils offset the loss of income they face as a result of the ban and encourage manufacturers to use more recyclable materials.
“It is essential that the government take the opportunities of the upcoming autumn budget and publication of its resources and waste strategy to assess the financial impact of these bans on councils thoroughly, and encourage manufacturers to take up more of the responsibility for dealing with these unrecyclable materials.”
Michael Martin, Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment Branch Manager commented; ''Manufacturers need to do far more and take more responsibility about how their products and packaging can be recycled. The media is now highlighting how much plastic is in the oceans and the adverse effect this is having on wildlife.
''As a recruitment agency that supplies a number of local authorities we see first-hand how funding cuts are reducing personnel levels, which in turn impacts what services can be done. And the reality is that issues such as the environment & recycling suffer as they are not everyone's priority.
''Central government need to think outside of the box and look at initiatives like the plastic bag charge to incentivise manufacturers and consumers alike to recycle as much as possible.''
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