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Consultation on consistency in recycling collections in England - LGA response

The LGA has responded to consultation on government proposals for consistent recycling collections from households and businesses. This is part of a set of proposals on the future of waste and recycling that also covers extended producer responsibility and the introduction of a deposit return scheme.

Key messages

  • The LGA has supported proposals that councils should be required to collect a core set of dry recyclable materials. How the materials are collected should be a local decision
  • Separate food waste collections would become mandatory for all households by 2023. This ambition is supported, with the proviso that council costs are fully funded and that equal attention is paid to prevention of food waste
  • Councils should retain the ability to charge for garden waste collection. Arguments for free collection are based on research showing that garden waste is diverted into residual waste when charges are introduced. Evidence from councils gives a different picture, and shows a strong preference to support home composting
  • Government modelling indicates that sorting recyclates into separate streams at the kerbside provides the best quality of recycled material and will save money in the long term. Financial analysis for the LGA has questioned the assumptions underpinning the impact assessment, and there are questions over the projected level of savings. Standardisation on one method of collection would create significant transition costs for some councils. Councils have raised significant concerns that are not modelled in the impact assessment including risks to health through manual handling and the impact on air quality
  • The ultimate aim of consistent collection is to provide more of the clean, high value material that the recycling industry wants and can process in the UK. There is a lack of detail on how end markets will be developed, which leaves a lot of responsibility with councils and their collection systems

Read the consultation and our response