Posted: Thu 9th Sep 2021

Flintshire Council blames Covid for dip in recycling performance figures in

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 9th, 2021

A dip in recycling performance figures in Flintshire has been blamed on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flintshire Council has reintroduced enforcement measures against residents who consistently fail to recycle this week in a bid to arrest the decline.

Officials have also revealed plans to embark on an education campaign to improve awareness of what can be recycled.

According to the latest statistics from the local authority, the amount of waste recycled in the county during 2020/21 stood at just over 64 per cent.

It represents a decrease compared to around 65.6 per cent the previous year, which a senior officer attributed to higher amounts of waste being collected due to people working from home.

The council is now aiming to achieve 70 per cent of waste being recycled by 2024/25 to meet national targets.

In a report to councillors, Katie Wilby, the authority’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said: “The impact of Covid has resulted in significant changes in the volumes of waste and recycling collected from residential properties and deposited at the household recycling centres (HRCs), which has resulted in a downturn in performance to 64.04 per cent for 2020/21.

“This change has come about as a result of increased working from home, restrictions on movement and the closure of hospitality venues, along with the periodic closures of the HRCs.

“Whilst the current waste strategy does not come to an end until 2025, the next national target to be achieved is 70 per cent by 2024/25.

“It is now important that the council starts to plan for the future, assess the ongoing impact on waste volumes post-Covid and consider what more could be done to increase recycling rates to ensure that we achieve the national targets.”

Analysis of waste collected by the council shows that items such as steel cans, plastic bottles and food are still being placed in normal rubbish bins, rather than being recycled.
Officials said it meant recyclable waste was being sent to landfill or incinerated.

They warned that failing to recycle could have a major environmental impact on the planet.

Ms Wilby added: “There is also a lost financial opportunity by not recycling our waste.

“There is a cost for every tonne of waste that is treated or landfilled, whilst the sale of the recycled products raises a small amount of income for the council.”

Councillors are being asked to back a number of measures to meet the 70 per cent recycling target when they meet on Tuesday, September 14, including the increased use of social media to educate people.

Officers are also planning to attend local events, markets and shopping centres to boost awareness of recycling.

In addition, members of the council’s environment and economy scrutiny committee are being requested to support enforcement action against residents where there is evidence they have consistently failed to recycle.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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