Headlines: July 14th, 2010

Britain’s largest local authority believes the economic recession is one of the reasons behind a drop of almost five per cent less in the amount of household waste generated in its area. Birmingham City Council has reported that in the year to April there was a 4.72 per cent drop by weight in rubbish it collected.

The city’s rate of recycling as a proportion of all waste went up almost 32 per cent at a time when recycling rates for many other local authorities were falling. The city’s Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, Timothy Huxtable, said the new figures showed some significant and interesting patterns. The overall fall in waste levels was due in part to the gradual trend of retailers using less packaging but he said the fact there had been a significant drop in just twelve months indicated that other factors were playing a part.

“The recession has hit Birmingham and the rest of the country hard in the last year. People have been spending less on goods and therefore it is highly likely that this is a key cause for waste levels dropping,” Councillor Huxtable said.

He added that the reduction in waste tonnage was good for Birmingham’s citizens for several reasons. It meant the council had saved on the costs of landfill and disposal and that money could be diverted into improving recycling facilities.