Recycling improvements in Northamptonshire

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Between April 2017 and March 2018, Northamptonshire recycled or composted 182,769 tonnes of waste, 49% of all rubbish, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures.

This is better than three years ago, when 48% of the rubbish was recycled.

The Government wants half of the country’s household waste to be recycled by 2020.

England recycled 42% of its rubbish in 2017-18, in line with three years ago.

To improve recycling rates, the Government has announced that every home will have weekly food waste collections and packaging will be more clearly labelled to show if it can go in household recycling bins.

Councillor Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said: “The best way to boost recycling rates is to prevent unrecyclable waste from entering the environment in the first place.

“Councils are keen to work with supermarkets and manufacturers so that they can switch to recyclable packaging where possible.”

Incineration plants burned 36% of the Northamptonshire’s rubbish. The vast majority was sent to specialist energy from waste power plants to generate heat and electricity.

Over the last three years, the incineration rate in Northamptonshire has risen from 4% in 2014-15.

Northamptonshire sent 53,023 tonnes of waste to landfills, 14% of the total.

The Government aims to cut the amount of rubbish going to landfill sites to 10% by 2035.

A cross party report, launched in July in the House of Lords, called on the Government to take oversight of the industry and introduce an incineration tax.

Research revealed that incinerators in England polluted more last year than a quarter-of-a-million lorries travelling 75,000 miles.

Shlomo Dowen, of United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), believes most of the waste being incinerated could be recycled.

He said: “We need to stop burning recyclable material, and this means we need to stop building new incinerators.

“Separate collection of food waste should be accompanied by increasing the range of recyclable material collected at the kerbside, and Government needs to introduce an incineration tax to ensure that those sending waste for incineration pay the cost of the pollution they cause.”