Council considers discouraging recycling in Jesmond
Newcastle Council is considering asking residents to stop recycling because they are not recycling the correct waste – a vital intervention as Christmas, with its reams of wrapping paper and cavalcade of cards, arrives.
The council claims it spent more than £500,000 to remove items such as nappies and food waste in the 2017/18 financial year.
For several years rubbish and recycling has been an issue in Newcastle but in particular, residents of Jesmond appear to be concerned about inappropriate rubbish.
Incorrect recycling costs Newcastle Council over half a million a year. Hardly surprising since they don't really inform residents what can be recycled or not. Perhaps an occasional mailshot? https://t.co/WKj2ssfyLS
— Jesmond Rants (@JesmondRants) October 26, 2018
The problem isn't the public, it's the ridiculous contracts signed by the councils. So many recyclables aren't accepted due to this because of biased contracts aimed to purely maximise profit. – Newcastle residents could be told to recycle fewer itemshttps://t.co/TlrtJ3SRDh
— GothBoyUK?? (@GothboyUK) October 26, 2018
Online complaints indicate confused home owners are putting the incorrect items into recycling bins. The council claims that this could mean rubbish is rejected for the recycling process, meaning the council must sort through the rubbish to remove contaminated items.
The council claim that lower levels of recycling will reduce the contamination in the recycling bins and thus save money as well as time. This may lead to recyclable items going to landfills but in the long run the council believes it will be more beneficial and cost effective.
Some residents in Jesmond were unhappy about this potential action. Keep Jesmond Clean, a community group wanting to maintain cleanliness and tidiness throughout Jesmond took to Twitter, suggesting the solution to the council’s problem is not about reducing recycling but being smarter about what people put in their bins.
I hate to use the already-overused word "SMART" but we need to be "SMARTER" about what we put in our bins! https://t.co/V4LrqVJODp
— Keep Jesmond Clean (@KeepJesClean) October 30, 2018
A spokesperson from Newcastle City Council said: “We want Newcastle to be a city that wastes less, recycles more”. Whilst encouraging residents to recycle when they can, the council also expressed recognition for the quality of the materials being an important factor.
With talks about telling to stop recycling, Newcastle council added they are looking at solutions that make it as easy as possible for residents to put the right waste in the right place. The spokesperson added: “Doing this will not only improve the quality of the recycling but also reduce any possible negative environmental impacts”.
Plastic Free Jesmond and Sandyford (PFJS) produced a consultation on waste last month which they presented to Newcastle Council.
In the document, PFJS suggest providing street recycling bins as this may bring particular benefits in retail areas, parks and transport stations. They further suggested increasing charges for non-recyclable commercial waste incrementally for local businesses.