New Government figures on waste recycling put Sheffield City Council in 322nd place, out of 371 local authorities in the UK, with a recycling rate of only 4.4%. At the top of the table, Daventry Council are recycling 42% of their waste.
The UK league table is hardly the premier league of recycling. Overall in the UK we only recycle 12% of waste. This compares very badly to other European countries, such as Switzerland and Austria.
In 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio, world leaders pledged to reduce waste and introduce schemes to improve recycling. Ten years on, world leaders are meeting again in Johannesburg. Reducing the amount of waste we produce is one of the many important issues they will be discussing. Embarrassingly, the recent figures show that the UK has increased the amount of waste it produces over the last ten years.
Responsibility for increasing the rate of waste recycling lies with local authorities. Sheffield City Council are currently considering an application from the waste company ONYX to build a new incinerator at Bernard Road. FoE believe that this new incinerator, if built, would remove any incentive for the City Council to improve its appalling record on recycling.
FoE are calling for a new law that would make recycling as straightforward as putting out the rubbish, by requiring every single home to have a doorstep recycling service.
Steve Goodacre, from Sheffield FoE, made the following points to Council spokesman, Mike Doherty, live on BBC Radio Sheffield:
"Building a new incinerator at Bernard Road will remove any incentive to improve our poor recycling record Sheffield City Council should introduce a quality doorstep recycling service to all households in Sheffield. Incineration is not an alternative to landfill. Toxic incinerator fly ash is currently being dumped at the Parkwood landfill site."
FoE and Greenpeace have offered to develop a “Zero Waste” strategy for Sheffield, provided the planning application for the new incinerator is rejected
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