Recycling figures for April to June this year suggest that a raft of waste initiatives could mean that the city’s recycling rates will rise for the first time since 2011.
Last night, it was announced that the April to June figures for 2017/18 were 29% – up from 26.7% in the same period last year.
Full figures for 2016/17 are not yet available – but in 2015/16, the rate fell for the fourth year in a row, down to 24.6%, keeping Brighton and Hove near the very bottom of the league table for England.
Despite a focus on environmental policies, recycling rates started to fall under the Green administration from 2011 to 2015 – with striking binmen usually given the blame. The fall also coincided with the increased rollout of communal bins, which have also been criticised as being magnets for flytipping.
Since Labour took power in 2015, rates have continued to fall – but initiatives such as new wheeled bins for recycling, garden waste collections and recycling street sweepings seem to be turning that around.
Announcing the new figures at the environment, transport and sustainability committee yesterday, chair cllr Gill Mitchell said: “For the first quarter of this financial year, April to June, our rates have increased by 2.46% on the same period last year.
“We’ve delivered 45,000 new recycling wheelie bins in the city and they are proving popular. This, coupled with our new garden waste collections scheme which costs residents just £1 a week, is giving people more opportunities to recycle.”
The council is also responding to areas in the city where residents have difficulty storing larger recycling bins.
Cllr Mitchell added: “We are taking the time to look at what works best for residents in areas such as Poets Corner to ensure those that would prefer smaller bins get them as quickly as possible.
“There is no one size fits all, and anyone who is unable to store a wheeled bin has the option to continue using black boxes. Our aim is to make it easy and convenient for people to recycle more and I’d like to thank residents for taking the the time to recycle.”
In 2015 around 4,000 households in Hangleton and Portslade took part in a wheeled bin trial that led to a 4% increase in recycling.
Recycling rates 2010 – 2016
- 2010/11 = 27.1%
- 2011/12 = 28.1%
- 2012/13 = 26.8%
- 2013/14 = 25.8%
- 2014/15 = 25.2%
- 2015/16 = 24.6%