IMPROVING DOMESTIC WASTE AND RECYCLING PRACTICES

The Director of Environment and Housing recently issued a report to the Executive Board in respect of implementing a further programme of communications and a series of “invest to save” campaigns to maximise separation of waste materials by residents for recycling.

If the whole city recycled as well as the areas that perform the best in the city 7 percentage points would be added to the recycling result. Subsequently the cost of dealing with waste would reduce by £1.75m per year. In recognition of this the Executive Board approved a strategy in November 2015 for ensuring continued increases in recycling through maximising existing capacity for recycling and infrastructure.

Since last November the Council has developed or implemented a range of initiatives or campaigns including the following: Delivery of a recycling awareness campaign focused on basic city wide knowledge including whatgoeswhere.org.uk a one-click web tool for recycling; launch of the Leeds Bin App pilot (residents can download this to iphones etc. through Leeds Bin Day on their app store); opening of a Visitor Centre and commencement of tours at the Energy from Waste Plant at Cross Green which started in May 2016; ongoing delivery of schools programme to establish school “recycling champions”, and targeting schools in low recycling areas.

The move to fortnightly bin collection (alternate waste collection) has led to a 13% increase in the level of dry recyclables collected at the kerbside during 2015/16 over the previous year.

The report states that the Council now needs to turn its attention to a number of problematic domestic waste practices – Side Waste which is rubbish left beside the wheeled bins, Contaminated bins through the incorrect use of the recycling bins and Bins left on the street. A programme of coordinated communications and marketing aims to provide the information to support good waste habits.

Ultimately the Council are looking to introduce sanctions such as Fixed Penalty charges for poor waste and recycling behaviours. However, this would be on a case by case basis and only after communication, Education and Warning letters have been issued on a staged basis.