Rise in household waste worries councils

11th August 2015


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  • Waste ,
  • Local government

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IEMA

Increasing household waste will place a burden on dwindling finances of local authorities at a time when further budget cuts are expected, according to local authority recycling officers.

Waste generated by households rose by 3.7% in 2014, according to data from the environment department (Defra) released last week.

The local authority recycling advisory committee (Larac) expressed alarm at the figures and today called on government and the wider industry to support local authorities with household waste minimisation at a national level.

Sally Talbot, vice chair of Larac, said: “The increase in overall waste arisings is something that needs to be tackled at a national level. Local authorities have done sterling work in this area but it is time to recognise that there is only so much we can do.”

The data also showed a rise in the household recycling rate from 44.2% in 2013 to 44.8% in 2014. Waste trade body the Environmental Services Association (ESA) welcomed this, but pointed out that three quarters of the improvement came from higher rates of recycling from organics such as garden waste and mixed garden and food waste. These services are at risk from local authority budget cuts, said Jacob Hayler, executive direct of the ESA.

Meanwhile, Kingston Council has launched a campaign targeting littering, dog fouling, cigarette butts and chewing gum, street urination, which it says costs £2 million a year to clean up. It has introduced on-the-spot fines of £80 for littering, and £100 for failing to clean up dog mess.

It will pilot the scheme in streets, parks, open spaces and housing estates in North Kingston, Kingston town centre and Surbiton until December. If the scheme is successful, it will be rolled out to other areas of the borough in 2016.

NSL Ltd has been awarded the contract to enforce the environmental scheme, the funding of which will come directly from fines, rather than from the council’s budget.

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