Recycling efforts criticised

RUBBISH! That was the verdict today from Civic Centre in Ipswich after bosses heard the borough had had its recycling efforts trashed by the government.

RUBBISH! That was the verdict today from Civic Centre in Ipswich after bosses heard the borough had had its recycling efforts trashed by the government.

A statement from the Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) put Ipswich on a list of authorities who would be given a tougher target in an attempt to boost its performance.

But after studying its figures a spokesman for Defra admitted the council was doing “brilliantly” by increasing the amount of waste being recycled.

Defra published statistics which showed less than 10 per cent of waste in the borough was recycled in 2004/5.


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However the borough disputed the figures. While just 9.5pc of “dry” waste such as paper, cardboard, plastics and metal - is recycled, the total including compostable material was almost 26 pc in 2004/5.

Last year that figure rose dramatically as more blue bins were rolled out around the town - the amount of dry waste recycled is expected to have doubled by the end of the current financial year next March.

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Council environment spokeswoman Inga Lockington said: “I really don't think it is fair to criticise us for not doing enough to promote recycling.

“The council is stepping up its recycling efforts and every house now has a full range of bins. Ipswich is one of the leading councils for recycling.”

A council spokesman said the borough had been praised by the government for its recycling initiative and had been given beacon status for its work with both composting and dry waste recycling.

He said: “I can't work out why we are on a list of councils that need to improve. We are doing more all the time and they know that.”

A Defra spokesman said the figures were not intended to shame councils into action - but the government did hope that all local authorities would improve their performance.

He said: “Ipswich has a target to recycle or compost 18pc of its waste, in 2004/5 it achieved almost 26 pc. That is very good.

“If they increase the amount of dry recycling by another ten pc or so the council will be doing brilliantly.”

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