It’s inaccurate to describe Sheffield as “one of the best-performing areas in the UK” for recycling (Star August 5th). We are constantly fed this line by the council based only on less than 1% of waste going to landfill. But they always forget to mention Sheffield being 316th out of 352 local authorities for recycling (in the last reported data for 2014/15). Just 30% of waste was recycled then, well behind all South Yorkshire councils. Barnsley recycled 53% of waste and the average council achieved 45%.
Our council has tied its own hands with a 35 year contract with Veolia under which we need waste to feed the incinerator. We know if we want extra doorstep recycling over and above current contracted services we have to pay Veolia more. So how can you have the twin objectives of increasing recycling and saving £3.4 million from the annual waste services budget by 2017?
You won’t find anything in this consultation that offers choices on any expansion of materials to be recycled or services. It’s all about Sheffielders choosing where the cuts fall including the option of changing to recycling collections every 4th week. Nothing is offered here that will significantly improve our woeful recycling rate and the council should be honest about that.
We can all reduce our environmental impact by reducing, reusing, repairing – and recycling. The only reason our recycling rates edge up each year is our increased awareness and willingness to recycle that this council fails to respond to.
Sheffield Green Party