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Recycling rates boosted by fortnightly collections

April 27, 2007 at 12:30 pm

A study from the Local Government Association (LGA) claims that recycling rates are 30% higher where councils have opted for fortnightly rubbish collections over weekly ones.

Under the alternate weekly system, general non-recyclable rubbish is collected one week and rubbish that can be recycled the next. Over a third of councils in England have adopted the new arrangement.

Some householders have expressed concern that reducing the frequency of rubbish collections leads to bad smells, maggots and vermin. National newspaper The Daily Mail are even running a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=450226&in_page_id=1770" target="
_blank”>campaign to save weekly rubbish collections, urging councils to consider public health consequences and guarantee a weekly service for all council tax payers.

Further scepticism has also been aroused by the possibility that the increase in recycling can simply be explained by the fact some councils made the switch to fortnightly collections at the same time as introducing recycling schemes. Critics of the new system point out that of the 216 of councils still providing weekly collections, 21 achieved recycling rates higher than the average among those with fortnightly collections. Two of the ten areas listed by the LGA as having the most improved recycling rates in the country still implement weekly collections.

Representing local councils across England, the LGA explained that moves towards fortnightly collections were aimed at working with residents to reduce waste, increase recycling and mitigate rising costs from EU legislation and higher landfill tax. With more rubbish being thrown into landfill in Britain than in any other European country, they highlighted a remarkably urgent need to overhaul rubbish disposal.

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