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Herts council to charge for excess non-recyclable waste

December 13, 2007 at 11:47 am

Broxbourne Council in Hertfordshire has begun to charge householders who generate too much non-recyclable waste in a six-month trail which began in November. The pilot scheme will cover 3000 homes, whose residents will be given 26 purple waste sacks, free of charge.

Waste put out for collection in bags other than the official purple ones will be left for the householder to dispose of and they could also face enforcement action. The council, however, recognises the time it can take for residents to establish a recycling routine and is taking a lenient view in the first 4 weeks of the trial. Extra bags will be available at various outlets at a cost of £2.80 for ten.

Broxbourne’s current recycling rate, excluding green waste, is 13% and the council would like to see this increased to at least 20%. The council’s website explains that this result could be achieved if every household in the pilot area recycled an extra 2 newspapers, 3 glass bottles and 2 food cans each week. They say that only about 50% of householders in the area are currently recycling properly.

Although Broxbourne restricts kerbside recycling to paper, cans and glass, there are 26 Neighbourhood Recycling Centres which cater for cardboard, plastics and textiles. Those resistant to the recycling message may well wonder if their council has the force of the law behind them, but under Section 46 of the Environment Protection Act of 1990, councils can require their residents to “place the waste for collection in receptacles of a kind and number specified.”

A spokesman has said that the council aims to make recycling easy for its residents and that the pilot is to be viewed as a learning process, from which feedback will be sought. If successful, it will be introduced throughout the area.

Other parts of England have introduced schemes to limit the amount of residual waste going to landfill, with varying degrees of success and popularity. Several councils have introduced compulsory recycling with good results. Schemes such as having fortnightly collections have proved unpopular because of bad smells, especially in summer, and the risk of rodent infestation with its implications for public health.

Perhaps one of the most successful schemes is that of Eden council in Cumbria. It was introduced in 2004 and has been responsible for increasing Eden’s recycling rate to an impressive 40%. It applies to 80% of its households and works again on the principle of charging for bags over and above the 2 blue ones provided free of charge each week by the council. Large households of 6 or more are entitled to an extra blue bag per week, as are those who have a medical condition which generates extra waste. Paper, cans and glass are recycled kerbside in all but rural areas where this is restricted to paper and cardboard. There are, in addition, 70 recycling centres in Eden for recycling items as diverse as engine oil, books, textiles and foil.

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One response to “Herts council to charge for excess non-recyclable waste”

  1. sabrina says:

    i think more people should recycle. nobody recycles! i started recycling in my school and now 2 more schools recycle because i satarted recycling. i did a presentation and everything!

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