Posted: Thu 9th May 2024

England to simplify waste collections with single bin for recyclables

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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The UK government has unveiled new plans to simplify the recycling process across England.

Residents over the border will soon be able to dispose of plastics, metals, glass, paper, and card in a single recycling bin, aiming to boost recycling rates and reduce confusion over sorting recyclables.

New simpler recycling collections will see the same materials collected from homes, workplaces, and schools, ending the confusing patchwork of different approaches across England.

Meanwhile, in Wales, the approach has shifted in the opposite direction. Recent regulations require a more detailed sorting process for all businesses, charities, and public sector organisations.

A new workplace recycling law introduced by the Welsh government in April requires separating food, paper, card, glass, metals, plastics, cartons, unsold textiles, and small waste electrical and electronic equipment for collection.

The Welsh government said the aim was to enhance recycling quality and increase the usage of recyclable materials by businesses, reducing the need for exporting waste.

Households in Flintshire have to separate plastic and metal into grey sacks, paper and card into blue sacks, and glass into blue tubs; garden waste is a separate paid-for service while food waste is collected in green mini bins.

The UK government has today set out how the “drive to better and simpler recycling” will work, “listening to councils who want to avoid streets cluttered with bins while doing what is best for the local community.”

Councils will be allowed to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper, and card in one bin in all circumstances.

Similarly, food and garden waste will also be allowed to be co-collected.

“This will reduce confusion over what items can be recycled, as people will no longer have to check what their specific council will accept for recycling.”

“It will also reduce complexity for councils and other waste collectors, ensuring they retain the flexibility to collect recyclable waste in the most appropriate way for their local areas,” the UK government has said.

A large number of councils in Wales have begun collecting general waste—black bins in Flintshire—on a three-weekly basis, something Flintshire Council has been mulling over in a bid to increase recycling rates.

The UK government said it is “supporting more frequent and comprehensive bin collections.”

“A minimum backstop means councils will be expected to collect black bin waste at least fortnightly, alongside weekly food waste collections.”

“This will stop the trend—seen outside England—towards three-weekly or four-weekly bin collections.”

The UK government said councils in England are being actively encouraged to make collections even more frequent, to prevent smelly waste from building up outside homes.

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore said: “We all want to do our bit to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill—but a patchwork of different bin collections across England means it can be hard to know what your council will accept.

“Our plans for Simpler Recycling will end that confusion: ensuring that the same set of materials will be collected regardless of where you live.”

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