Headlines: June 23rd, 2009

Wheelie bins have led to a dramatic increase in recycling rates according to a survey by the Local Government Association. The figures from a snap poll showed that in one case a council had seen the amount of material recycled rise from four per cent to 38 per cent and in another case it went from 19 to 60 per cent.

The figures show that every council which responded to the survey had recorded a rise in its recycling rates since the introduction of kerbside wheelie bins. The LGA said there was strong evidence that people liked wheelie bins and thought they not only made it easier to throw out rubbish but also helped to reduce litter on the streets.

Richard Kemp, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association, said: “Residents have to store their rubbish somewhere without it smelling, attracting vermin and potentially getting strewn across the street. Wheelie bins help families store their rubbish safely and they encourage people to recycle more, which helps keep council tax down.”

The LGA is concerned that Britain sends more rubbish to landfill than almost any other country in Europe. It is estimated that landfill tax adds £30 to council tax bills every year. Councillor Kemp said there was no one-size-fits-all answer to bin collections and added: “Town halls want to make recycling easy so people are encouraged to recycle more. Councils know their residents best and will run the type of bin collection that is best for people in their area. Over the last five years, people have doubled the amount of rubbish they’re recycling. Town halls have been crucial in helping people to recycle more, keeping council tax down in the process, and do not need to be told what type of bin collection to operate.”