What’s in your black bin bag?

Councillor Peter La Broy is encouraging local people to become involved in planning future recycling and refuse collections in Cornwall, which will have an impact on everyone, and the environment.

He says: The current waste collection contract that Cornwall Council operates with Biffa comes to its end in 2020. The Council has been working hard to develop a plan that will increase recycling rates and reduce waste that goes to incineration. There is a survey that residents can complete, which will help Councillors in their decision-making process – I urge every reader to spend a few moments to give their feedback.

 The Council wishes to scale up the number of items recycled in Cornwall from 36% to over 50%.

Their recommendation proposes a weekly collection of recycling and food waste and a fortnightly collection of waste that cannot be recycled. Evidence shows that by making recycling collections more frequent, increasing the range of materials that are recycled and introducing food waste collections on a weekly basis, the Council can deliver its recycling targets.

Analysis of black bin bags (there’s a job) shows that most people’s waste is currently comprised of 22% of materials that can be recycled e.g., paper/cans/glass, etc., 35% is food waste and 43% is other residual waste. So, it seems that recyclables are not always being recycled and food waste which could maybe be composed, is also mixed with the general refuse.


The Council says: If in future we collect food waste each week, and recycling collection also moves to weekly collections, this would make collections of recyclable material easier and mean we would change the frequency of collections of waste which cannot be recycled to a fortnightly basis. This means food waste will be collected at the same frequency as it is now (weekly) with the added benefit that it would be recycled (by anaerobic digestion), which is currently not the case.

Before Cabinet meets in February to make a final decision on the new contract, the Council is talking to Town and Parish Councils through the Localism Summits held last week (and Bude on 19 December) and will be hosting an all-Member briefing in January.

They want to give residents the opportunity to help inform and shape Cornwall’s future kerbside recycling and waste collection. What people say will help the Council to understand the impact on residents of proposed changes to the waste and recycling contract in 2020. To obtain this information they are undertaking a survey and focus groups.

So, please share the survey with family, friends and constituents to help shape the future service. The survey can be found here: Recycling and Waste survey and will close on 3 January 2018.

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