Published date: 21 September 2023

‘Dazed and confused’ on recycling says NLWA about Government’s backtrack

The UK’s second largest waste and recycling authority, North London Waste Authority, expressed its concern today that the Government’s latest announcement on recycling is yet another tactic to delay meaningful action to support increases in domestic recycling. 

NLWA Chair, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: “The Government is at least consistent on being inconsistent when it comes to action to improve recycling, with constant dither and delays! 

"The Government proposed its consistent collections reforms in 2018 and even now – a tortuous five years and four Secretaries of State later – many important details are still unclear.

“Instead, regrettably, rather than clarify matters the Government has gone for headline grabbing with its talk of ‘seven bins’ – which in the next breath they say was never the case – as the actual objective of consistent collections in recycling is to ensure that every local authority across the UK can collect all types of waste that is recyclable, not prescriptive instructions on the numbers of bins.” 

NLWA pointed out that the Government’s own legislation about separation says that seven individual collection streams would not be required where it is not feasible or only at excessive cost.  

Cllr Loakes said: “The lack of clarity and inaction by the Government merely sows confusion and sends mixed messages to business and residents. We need decisive action, timings for any changes, and Government funding to support local authorities’ increased costs as a result of any required changes such as compulsory separate weekly food waste collections.

“Furthermore, the Government must keep its promises and not delay or water down policies such as Extended Producer Responsibility – EPR. EPR together with consistency in recycling will help propel the economy toward circularity and long-term prosperity whilst greatly reducing the impact of waste on the climate and nature.”