Council misses recycling target

The council is missing a key recycling target, according to a new report.

Less than a third of all the rubbish collected by Brighton and Hove City Council is classed as recycled, reused or composted, the report said.

The percentage had hovered at about 29 per cent since 2018 but had risen to just over 30 per cent in the first nine months of the 2021-22 financial year – from April to December.

But the recycling level falls well short of the 35 per cent target, according to the report to the council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

Despite the low recycling rate, just 1.2 per cent of Brighton and Hove’s rubbish goes to landfill, with most instead sent to the incinerator in Newhaven, where burnt rubbish powers 25,000 homes.

One continuing problem is contaminated recycling in communal bins, with plastic pots, trays and tubs among the items most commonly dumped incorrectly. The problem persists even though the council said that it sent out explanatory leaflets with council tax bills.

The report said: “Recycling rates are dependent on a number of factors, including that there are currently no large-scale ‘end markets’ to collect low-grade plastics.

“This means comparison with other local authorities can sometimes be misleading.

“While some do collect more materials and state a higher rate of recycling than BHCC (Brighton and Hove City Council), these materials can be exported abroad and some of it has been shown to go to landfill in these countries.”

A feasibility study is under way into the cost of retrofitting the “materials recovery facility”, in Hollingdean, to accept other recyclables including food waste. Any changes could include allowing low-grade plastic, foil and tetra packs to be collected for recycling.

Actions to improve recycling levels include increasing the number and frequency of communal recycling bin collections and improving the signage and colour-coded bins.

A textile recycling pilot project took place in Whitehawk last year after research found that people living in social housing threw away the most clothes and other fabrics.

Various events, including a school uniform sale and clothes swap, were held in the area, along with sewing skills workshops attended by 90 people at a community event in Whitehawk Library in April.

Similar events are planned across Brighton and Hove including a food waste recycling session in Hollingbury.

The Policy and Resources Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall at 4pm on Thursday (7 July). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    So the problem is people putting recyclable items (those with the recycle symbol) into the recycling bins.

    The real problem is our recycling contractors are themselves RUBBISH…

    • Peter Reply

      Completely agree with you the amount of stuff that I put out which says recyclable but Brighton and hove council do not recycle . Also we need a plant like the one in shoreham to burn waste and use to supply energy The council is hell bent on building houses and student accommodation the waste from which has to be disposed off

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Why do people throw away clothes? Charity shops welcome them, and can recycle those not needed. As more things then not can be recycled, there should be weekly collection of these and fornightly collection of the rest. Also, composting is a delight. And it is far cheaper to carry a flask of coffee than buy it in cups.

  3. Tom Harding Reply

    In other news Pope is confirmed as a left footer and a bear has been seen heading for a forested area carrying a roll of Andrex

    • Sd Reply

      It’s not easy bein’ green.

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