Kirklees’ bid to boost recycling

Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, Councillor Rob Walker, says he wants Kirklees to become one of the leading boroughs in the country when it comes to recycling.

To mark Recycle Week – 23-29 September – Councillor Walker says we all have a part to play in achieving this and the council will continue to work closely with residents to offer support and advice.

Cllr Walker said:

“We take recycling very seriously and our rates in Kirklees are simply not good enough at the moment.

You will be aware of the recent work the council has been doing to advise residents on what can go in their green bin. This was done to reduce the amount of our recycling that gets rejected because it’s contaminated.

This process has been incredibly useful. We have found that the majority of residents are willing to learn about recycling and want to put the right items in the right bins. We have also learned that some people would like clearer information on recycling and we are working on this.

A small minority don’t want to recycle and make no effort to and that is why their bin was removed, to prevent contamination of recycling loads. In total less than one per cent of households had their green bin removed. We never intended to retain these bins but to educate and help those householders to recycle before returning them.

It is important to remember that the majority of our residents recycle in the right way and it is only fair to those people that we support those who don’t. We are talking a very small proportion of people not doing this, less than one per cent, but we need everyone to help us recycle.

Following this campaign we’re now recycling an additional 35 tonnes of rubbish each week. To put that into context, that’s about six full bin wagons.”

What is our main objective?

Our main objective is to improve recycling rates across the borough. The next set of recycling rates results will not reflect this good work yet as they are backdated. However, improvements are expected in future results, with the quality and volume of waste coming into Kirklees’ recycling centre in Huddersfield – operated by Suez – already visible.

Anna Bell, SUEZ’s Regional Manager, said:

“We have already noticed a considerable difference in the quality of material coming through the recycling facility. The less contamination there is in residents’ green bins, the better it is for our plant and workforce, and importantly, it means we can recycle much more. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Kirklees Council to improve the borough’s recycling rate.”

Cllr Walker added:

“I will soon be writing to residents to offer them their green bins back, as was always the plan. However, we will continue to monitor our recycling bins and will continue to offer people the help and support they need to recycle but those who persistently make no effort to use their green bins for recycling will face losing them because we have to take issues that impact our environment extremely seriously.

I want Kirklees to not only improve its recycling rates but to become one of the leading boroughs in the country. In order to do this we all have a part to play and we want to work with residents and support them so we can achieve this together.

We declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year and as part of that we are committing to creating less waste and recycling more. We cannot declare this and not follow through by shirking our responsibility in ensuring everyone does their part to recycle.

We will be presenting an action plan which lays out our targets and aims in the coming months.”

4 comments

  • What can and can’t be recycled in the green bins needs greater clarity and needs to be more prominent and easier to find on the Kirklees website. Improved facilities to recycle plastics is desperately urgent – Kirklees is way behind many other authorities.

  • Dear Councillor Walker,
    Having worked in the plastics industry for the last 45 years and particularly my time with B A S F who are the leading lights in Germany on recycling and effected the way of taking all plastics and recovering the basic raw materials for producing the plastics for reuse in making the plastics again without the oil based products.
    I would be pleased to meet with you and any of your colleagues and pass on my Knowledge and experience free of charge and I can still probably organise a visit to the factory in Germany to gather information what this site which is 7Km X4Km in area and makes approximately 60,000 products on this site and a similar sized plant in Belgium.

    My Tel Number is 01924 468890

    John R Blundell

  • I have been a committed recycler for decades but still find it extremely frustrating that only certain plastics can be recycled. Recycling has to be made easy for people otherwise the those who are reluctant simply won’t participate. One of the best things Kirklees Council could do is reverse the decision to stop glass bottle collections – one of the first of the austerity cuts. Whilst there are many bottle banks across the district, there are still people who simply can’t be bothered to take them or who do not have any way of getting them to recycling centres – not everyone has a car and not everyone is able to walk/carry them to the nearest bottle bank.

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