13 September 2018 by Joshua Doherty

Cornwall reports ‘surge’ in recycling

Recycling rates in Cornwall for the first quarter of 2018 have risen by 5% from the same period last year, council figures have shown.

Cornwall council announced earlier this week (September 10) that it achieved a rate of 42% for the first quarter of 2018, which was also 3% above its target for the period. Cornwall achieved a 34.6% recycling rate for 2016/17.

Cornwall council achieved a recycling rate of 42% for the first quarter of 2018

The jump has been put down to “a number of factors” including the increased public focus on plastic waste and schemes the council has run.

However, Cornwall Council was forced to apologise to residents after complaints over waiting times for recycling bags, following an 80% rise in requests since 2016.

“Recycling is now more prominent in people’s minds and we know our residents value Cornwall as a beautiful place to live. We expect that a combination of these factors has generated a massive surge in awareness and demand for recycling bags,” explained Sue James, cabinet portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection.

Cllr James added: “We apologise for the delay in getting these bags out to residents, but we did not anticipate such a massive increase in orders. It’s an encouraging sign that we will be able to boost recycling rates across Cornwall and we ask for people to be patient.

“We are out delivering recycling bags to households who ordered them as fast as possible but this is taking some time.”

Process

The Council say it has been “actively promoting different ways for people to recycle” following a waste survey earlier this year where people said they wanted more information on what to recycle.

In July, Cornwall council begun the procurement process for a new 10 year waste management contract worth £20 million a year (see letsrecycle.com story).

The contract will begin in April 2020, following the termination of the current contract, held by Biffa, for waste and recycling collection, street and beach cleansing services, in March 2020.

Currently, the Biffa contract involves a fortnightly collection of recycling, which is split into five bins of glass, paper, plastic, cards and cans. Residual black bag waste is collected weekly.

Under the new contract, the council will decide in December “based on affordability” whether to retain the current collection dates or move to a weekly recycling collection with a fortnightly residual waste collection.


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