Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Fewer wheelie bins in waste review

A Government review will look for ways to cut the number of wheelie bins and containers
Caroline Spelman said reducing the amount of rubbish thrown away from homes needs to be made 'as easy as possible'

Reducing the amount of rubbish thrown away from homes needs to be made "as easy as possible", Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has said as she launched a Government review of waste policy.

Among the areas the review will look at is ways to cut the number of wheelie bins and containers people have to deal with to sort their waste and recycling.

In some areas, householders can be left struggling with several wheelie bins or boxes for rubbish, recycling, food waste and garden waste - which they may not have room for in their driveway or front garden.

And in a move which could see a reversal in the trend towards fortnightly bin rounds, brought in as part of efforts to boost recycling, the review will also look at how Government can work with councils to increase the frequency and quality of collections.

Mrs Spelman believes most people try to do the right thing when it comes to recycling and disposing of their rubbish, and it is important to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

As well as looking at how household and business rubbish is collected, sorted and recycled, the examination of waste policies will also consider ways to encourage businesses to reduce packaging of products such as toys.

It will examine how best to encourage householders, companies and communities to produce less waste and boost recycling - with a focus on encouraging people with incentives rather than penalties and "coercion".

The review will also look at future infrastructure needs, including producing energy from waste and from a biological process known as anaerobic digestion.

Mrs Spelman said the review was an opportunity to look at how to increase recycling, reduce landfill - which costs councils in landfill tax - and unlock the economic value of items which people no longer want.

For example, throwing aluminium cans away costs money in landfill tax and loses more money because the used metal fetches hundreds of pounds a tonne, while manufacturing new cans from raw materials takes 20 times more energy than using recycled aluminium.

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