Landfill waste over lack of recycling

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Recycling bin facility. Pic © JMU Journalism

Recycling bin facility. Pic © JMU Journalism

Thousands of plastic bottles, cans and paper are going to landfill in Liverpool due to what is said to be a lack of recycling facilities for people in the city centre.

Major issues are with apartment blocks in town as some don’t have a single recycling bin or communal waste area. Additional waste costs the region millions of pounds a year in taxpayers’ money to cope with the amount of waste being dumped, with one report suggesting as much as £65m is being spent tackling the issue.

Councillor Richard Kemp told JMU Journalism: “Our recycling rates are not good enough and in particular we don’t use our planning powers with new buildings to make sure they have recycling areas and spaces.”

With Liverpool City Council expressing the fact that apartment blocks are not obligated to have recycling bins and space to place bins is an issue they are aware of, and they admit it is something that needs dealing with.

A council spokesman said: “In blocks which have space and where there are only purple bins for general waste we will replace half of them with blue bins for recycling and work with managing agents and tenants so there are used properly.”

The council’s recycling and waste management working group has set up a sub group to look specifically at where issues of space and access are a challenge.

Cllr Kemp added: “We also need to have a much greater education programme to encourage residents not to waste valuable resources.  There is also a lot of work to be done to reduce the amount of food waste in the city.”

The city council is aiming to help residents by educating them about the different ways of recycling, suggesting that any other items such as electrical goods, clothes, books, games, shoes are welcomed in the city centre charity shops, and many supermarkets now take unwanted plastic bags.

About Olivia Swayne-Atherton, JMU Journalism