Are we suffering from recycling fatigue?

27 May 2014

Recycling_Mixed_Containers It has to be said, as you look at the looming face of Nigel Farage and the ongoing destruction of the planet, it is easy to become increasingly lackadaisical about recycling baked bean tins and the like.

And it seems that Britain as a whole is lagging behind with recycling, due to something called ‘green fatigue.’

This follows bin wars up and down the country, with people angry that recycling bins aren’t being emptied regularly, and others getting it all wrong and filling them with nappies and food. Everywhere you look, it seems there’s a lazy council, or a bad recycling policy, or in the case of Derry City Council - who stockpiled brown recycling bins for years because they didn’t have the trucks to collect them – utter incompetence.

This is according to a report by recycling company Sita UK, which outlines the state of our rubbish nation, and casts doubts on whether Britain will reach its waste targets. Recycling rates are falling. In 2012 the rate was 43%, but although official figures aren’t out yet, Sita says they will be lower this year.

People are blaming a proliferation of confusing bins – and soon there’ll be even more bins due to an EU directive to separate waste. Keith Gordon, head of Environment for Rochford Council in UKIP-tastic Essex complained: "Do you want to get to the point where you have six bins or six boxes? It can look like you have a line of Daleks all the way down the road."

(Sounds great!)

So are we really at the end of our recycling tether? Or is it crap local councils and lack of information that are to blame?

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Government


  • Captain P.
    My council provides a very small amount of green bags every six months. They run out very quickly, my local supermarkets don't sell bags that colour, I wish I could recycle more.
  • Charles W.
    It's not recycling we should be concentrating on, it's not producing the unnecessary packaging in the first place. Typical GB though, treat the symptom not the cause.
  • David
    I agree with Charles. Tax the packaging heavily and the amount of waste will drop.
  • John K.
    Tax is always the answer of people who don't have any other ideas.
  • dvdj10
    And snide remarks like that are a sign that people don't have a clue let alone an idea. Come on the John, what's the answer? Anyway, nothing wrong with my current bin system, 1 week the black general waste and brown garden waste are collected (garden not in winter), the other week the blue paper being and the green/blue metal, plastic and glass bin is collected. Works well for us. However I agree something on packaging needs to be done, especially cardboard. I luckily get a full sized wheelie bin for paper/cardboard and I manage to fill that with bulky boxes.
  • Stephan
    I agree with the idea of reducing and as well rethinking packaging. But in my opinion recycling should ideally be done by everyone to help make the planet a better and healthier place for us as well as the generations to come. A lot of household waste (all the organic materials ) can actually be recycled at home with the help of earthworms. It's easy, doesn't produce any bad odors and can be done virtually anywhere. Amongst the many benefits it brings are a reduction in the production of harmful greenhouse gas "methane", a regular supply of amazing organic fertilizer and natural pesticide and last but not least even the possibility of creating some extra income from home. I've run worm farms now for more than 15 years and the results are very satisfactory. It takes less than 5 minutes of maintenance for a worm farm per week and I can recycle up to 50% of my household and garden waste with the help of my worms. Worms eat cardboard boxes as well.
  • RP
    Some people are just lazy plain and simple. They don't know how to reuse. Get rid because sell by date says so. Some of it isn't rocket science. Even when some people recycle they don't crush plastic cartons or rip up boxes they put the whole in as it is....... need to be spoon fed... or plain and simple lazy
  • The C.
    Not everyone wants to spend time recycling just to benefit some business by under £1 an hour. Some current recycling makes good sense, but not all. At the same time, real cost-nothing opportunities are being squandered. We should have clear sacks for items people think someone else might want to take: anyone is free to take from them. It says so on the bag, with a disclaimer of liability.

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