Government unveils new plans to boost recycling in England

Plans being considered include the introduction of statutory guidance on new minimum service standards for rubbish and recycling collections, subject to an assessment of affordability and value for money

The Big Zero report

The government has announced a major shake-up of bin collections in England that it says will boost recycling rates across the country, protect the environment and reduce costs for taxpayers.

Under the new proposals, the government aims to make it easier for millions of households to recycle and every household will receive separate, weekly food waste collections from 2023.

Plans being considered include the introduction of statutory guidance on new minimum service standards for rubbish and recycling collections, subject to an assessment of affordability and value for money.

This could recommend a minimum service standard of residual waste at least once a fortnight alongside the weekly collection of organic waste.

Councils would continue to be supported to collect more frequently than the minimum standard.

Free garden waste collections are also being considered for every home, which could save householders more than £100 million a year in green waste charges – councils currently have discretion on whether to provide the service, which is usually charged for on top of council tax.

The consultation, open until 7th May 2021, will also set out plans to make recycling easier with a clear list of materials that all local authorities and waste companies must collect from homes and businesses, specifically plastic, paper, card, glass, metal and food waste, as well as garden waste for households.

This is expected to help end the confusion for homes and businesses having different collections in different areas, helping households recycle more and send less waste to landfill.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Householders want more frequent recycling collections. Regular food and garden waste collections will ensure that they can get rid of their rubbish faster, at no additional cost to them.

“Our proposals will boost recycling rates and ensure that less rubbish is condemned to landfill.”

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