Lancashire only region in the country to see decline in recycling rates
Cuts to town hall budgets across Lancashire are impacting on recycling rates, council bosses have said.
Recent government figures show the North West is the only region in the country to have seen a decline compared with last year.
Only one county local authority - Fylde Borough Council - is hitting the household rate target of 50 per cent.
Councils have maintained that improving recycling figures remains a priority, but the effects of budget cuts are making the task increasingly difficult.
Wyre Borough Council, which includes Garstang, was ranked 15th best in the North West, recycling 44.9 per cent of its waste.
All councils need to push towards the 50 per cent rate by 2020.Wyre saw its first decline last year, from 51.4 per cent during the 2015-16 financial year to 44.9 per cent.
A council spokesman: “We have seen a decline as a result of residual waste rising in the last few years.
“We are now beginning to see an increase following a reduction / static line for a number of years when economy failing, also in 16/17 food waste had to be put back in the residual bin resulting in an increase and the authority introduced the green waste subscription service which has resulted in a reduction in the tonnage of garden waste collected at the kerbside. We have seen a steady decline in the amount of paper / cardboard collected which again appears to be a national trend.
“In addition, many producers of food containers, such as glass jars and bottles are actually reducing the weight of the materials so as the targets are weight based the ability to continually rise will be harder.
“We don’t necessarily have a priority to just improve recycling rates, we would like to push the management of waste up the waste hierarchy and encourage reuse and minimisation. We are exploring ways with partners at Lancashire County Council as to whether we can recycle more materials.
“We’re reinforcing messages as to what can and cannot be recycled, in particular targeting households not performing or contaminating recycling containers. Engage with local schools / community groups to raise awareness and change behaviours in relation to waste.”