Householders in Suffolk to trial recycling scheme

HOUSEHOLDERS in Suffolk are to be selected to take part in trials of a tough new recycling scheme to be unveiled by the Government today .

Lizzie Parry

HOUSEHOLDERS in Suffolk are to be selected to take part in trials of a tough new recycling scheme to be unveiled by the Government today .

Details will be announced today of the Government's tough new recycling policy, which is being piloted in six areas nationwide - including Suffolk.

The 'Seven Suffolk Streets' project has been awarded a �10,000 grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) challenging occupants to reduce their waste by half.

One street in each of the seven district council authorities in Suffolk will now be chosen to test a new recycling regime.

Under the new 'Zero Waste Standard' proposals due to be announced by Environment secretary Hilary Benn at a waste summit today, local authorities could issue five different bins to householders.

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The different bins could include a black bin for landfill waste, a bin to collect paper, one for recyclables, one for food scraps and another for compost.

The guidelines set by the Government could also give local councils the power to fine people who fail to adhere to the rules.

Councillor Roy Barker, spokesperson for the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said he was delighted that Suffolk was at the forefront of this innovative idea towards reducing waste.

He said Suffolk residents were already among the best recyclers in the country with half of their waste being recycled.

But he said people now had to strive to reduce waste further still.

“The scheme will be taking shape over the next few months; businesses and residents on the street will receive advice, be invited aboard the recycling bus and encouraged to see who can reduce their waste the most,” he said.

“We know the public are frustrated by unnecessary packaging and giving them an opportunity to think about ways to avoid waste is a great initiative.”

The trial scheme will include a doorstop campaign to promote waste prevention, pre and post campaign audit to measure outputs, improved recycling services, a recycling bus to provide info and advice and “give and take” days to exchange unwanted items to divert from landfill.

A DEFRA spokesperson said the scheme was not designed to penalise people.

“It is about making it easy for people to do the right thing and working together to achieve a zero waste nation,” the spokesperson said.

“A zero-waste nation isn't necessarily about extra bins for residents. We expect local authorities to offer a full recycling service by 2020 - paper, card, cans, glass and plastic bottles, food plastic packaging - and are working with them to achieve this, but we are not prescribing how they do this.

“That means that some authorities may collect mixed recycling, others may prefer to collect items separately.”

Mr Benn said: “We need to rethink how we view and treat waste in the UK. We must now work together to build a zero waste nation - where we reduce the resources we use, reuse and recycle all that we can and only landfill things that have absolutely no other use.

“In ten years time 75% of household waste will either be recycled or used for energy, and over time this figure will increase even further. Aiming for zero waste is the way we have to think to get us to where we need to be.”