Waste News

One third of people don’t know how to recycle

Recycle, reuse, reduce.

A new poll carried out by Viridor has found that 63 per cent of householders are puzzled about what kind of waste they can recycle in the home.

Issues such as confusion over bin colours and when bins should be put out of been noted as contributory factors to the confusion.

Nearly three quarters of the 1,500 people polled said that they would like more transparency over what happens to their waste.

It was also found that public trust was particularly low when it concern local authorities’ ability to oversee collection facilities.

Dan Cooke, director of external affairs at Viridor, said:

People across the UK want to recycle more, and recognise the importance of doing so, but they need better systems and support to ensure the right stuff goes in the right bin every time.

“We believe that greater transparency in the recycling and waste sector is crucial to rebuilding confidence with UK consumers to support them with recycling.”

The poll also discovered that many people don’t know what specific items they could recycle. More than half (51 per cent) said that they didn’t know whether they could recycle disposable coffee cups or not.

Another 56 per cent didn’t know whether they could recycle plastic wrapping and 52 per cent said that they didn’t know whether mobile phones could be recycled.

Currently, the UK recycle rates from households stands at 44.9 per cent from 2014 (rising from 40.4 per cent in 2010), and the country currently has a target of reaching 50 per cent by 2020 – although this has been lowered from 69.1 per cent.

In March it was reported that English recycling rates had fallen for the very first time, having dropped by 0.7 per cent.

It is thought that the slashing of budgets by the government is largely to blame for the failure, with local authorities and Defra having being particularly cut in the past six years.

That said, in August of this year the Government published a document on UK waste statistics, highlighting that Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW), sent to landfill has continued to reduce and in 2014, was at 24 per cent of the 1995 baseline value.

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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