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I was surprised to learn last week that not all households in the UK enjoy food waste kerbside collection services, when the benefits of converting food waste to power in anaerobic digesters have long been proven. Plus, it's one of the few things we householders can't actually get wrong when it comes to what can be recycled and what can't. I struggle with plastics as I'm never sure whether I'm about to contaminate the bin - and those tiny 'can be recycled', 'not currently recycled' and 'not for kerbside collection; please recycle with carrier bags' messages can be difficult to find on a torn or dark packet, can't they?
At the moment, only about 35% of English households are able to recycle food waste, compared with 56% in Scotland and 100% in Wales, so while it may be several years too late, the Government's announcement that every home in England will soon have its food waste collected weekly is a good one. And as for the news that household recycling will be made less confusing, with consistent labelling on packaging as well as consistency across all councils' recycling schemes? Well, I'm delighted! But why did it take so long?
Some councils are predicted to oppose the changes unless they're given extra funding but surely with so many councils having recently reinstated weekly general waste collections at great cost, the option separate food waste collection will give them to reduce this again should cancel that out once the food caddies are purchased. Or am I being naive?
Another announcement that's delighted me is that we'll have to pay an upfront returnable deposit on bottles, cans and disposable cups. Shame though that it's not going to happen until 2023! Why do these schemes take so long to set up? Recycling rates have stagnated at around 44% for the past five years, which means that some four billion plastic bottles, 2.7billion cans and 1.5billion glass bottles are not recycled in the UK each year. That's disgraceful! The Government aims for a 70% recycling rate by 2030 but I'm hoping we can reach that long before then and halt the blight of discarded drinks receptacles strewn around our countryside. There's far too much at stake for us not to, so I hope that when the projects go under consultation in a few weeks, the schemes will be widely supported.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We'll be back on Monday 7th January 2019.
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20th December 2018