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Recycling Rate In Kirklees Falls AGAIN

It equates to more than 40 tonnes of rubbish ending up in landfills every day last year.

Statistics published last month by the Department for Food, Environment & Rural Affairs revealed the borough’s recycling rate to be 24% – well below the national average of 44%.

What’s more it’s a 3% decrease on the year before, and a 6% drop on 2016/17.

And it equates to more than 40 tonnes of rubbish ending up in landfills every day last year.

The figures, which are published annually, come just two months after the council revealed ambitions to lift its recycling rates to become “one of the best boroughs in the country”.

Kirklees Council said the new figures, which date back to March this year, do not reflect the authority’s work on recycling.

The latest figures show that Kirklees threw out 158,334 tonnes of household waste in 2018/19 – the equivalent of about 361kg of rubbish for every person.

However only 38,443 tonnes of that ended up being recycled, re-used or composted, which works out as 24% of the total.

It represents one of the lowest rates of recycling seen anywhere in England.

Charities say recycling systems are struggling to keep up with the “huge amounts” of waste generated, and that the figures should act as a “wake-up call”.

The rate in Kirklees has dropped from the year before – when 27% of household rubbish was recycled – and from to 30% in 2016/17.

Meanwhile, a further 29,044 tonnes of non-household waste – including landscaping, construction and demolition waste – was thrown out in the last year.

Only around 22% of that – or 6,412 tonnes – was recycled, again lower than the national average of 38%.

It means that, in total, 142,488 tonnes of Kirklees’ waste was not recycled in the last year.

The vast majority of that was sent for incineration, where it was burned and converted into energy, but 15,708 tonnes ended up in landfills.

That’s the equivalent of 43 tonnes of rubbish being landfilled every single day.

The figure doesn’t include commercial waste, so the true amount of rubbish from Kirklees ending up in landfills is likely to be even higher.

Across England more than 23 million tonnes of household waste was collected in the last year – the equivalent of 411kg per person.

Of that, 44% was recycled, re-used or composted.

There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of waste generated by households by 2020.

Meanwhile there was a further 2.4 million tonnes of non-household waste collected, and 38% of that was recycled.

In total, 2.8 million tonnes of rubbish ended up in landfills – 11% of all local authority collected waste.

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said: “This shows that recycling systems are struggling to keep up with the huge amounts of waste generated.

“It’s why the focus must be on policies and designs that prevent waste in the first place and shift towards re-use systems rather than today’s throw-away, single-use economy.

“Waste generation and disposal is also a key climate change driver so these figures should act as a wake-up call.

“It’s certainly harder to hit high recycling rates in larger cities due to the challenges of high-density housing including apartment blocks.

“But there is too much variance across local authorities, each with their own confusing rules.

“The next government must give clearer directions to councils and households about how to recycle, and firmer regulations so companies can’t generate so much needless waste in the first place.”

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “Our recycling rates have to improve and this is something we are absolutely committed to and have made some big steps forward in recent months.

“Following our recent campaign to improve this, we’re now recycling an additional 35 tonnes of rubbish each week.

“This set of recycling rates results does not reflect this good work yet as they are backdated.

“However, improvements are expected in future results, with the quality and volume of waste coming into Kirklees’ recycling centre in Huddersfield – operated by Suez – already visible.

“In addition to this, the new garden waste collection service we introduced earlier this year has been a big success with more than 15,000 households signed up.

“Moving forward, we are developing a new and ambitious waste strategy that will invest in the service and significantly improve recycling rates.

“We want Kirklees to not only improve its recycling rates but to become one of the leading boroughs in the country.

“In order to do this we all have a part to play and we want to work with residents and support them so we can achieve this together.”

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