Keep Britain Tidy: 10 point action plan to boost England’s recycling rates

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Source: Keep Britain Tidy

London — Keep Britain Tidy has launched a new report titled „The Ur(bin) Issue“. The Ur[Bin] Issue presents the results of a public inquiry, conducted by Keep Britain Tidy, which sought to find new ways to improve recycling rates in urban environments across England – by involving members of the public in deliberative research. The project was commissioned and sponsored by national recycling and resource management company SITA UK, a front-line provider of household recycling services across the UK.

Based on the feedback from residents and responses to a poll, three clear over-arching elements emerged that are needed to help improve recycling – Engagement (providing good quality, accessible, information to empower people and change attitudes); Motivation (to reinforce positive behaviours); and Infrastructure to support those attitudes and behaviours.

Based on the jurors’ actions plans and the three key elements above, Keep Britain Tidy has produced a 10-point action plan to improve urban recycling performance across England. The 10 action points are aimed at a range of stakeholders in the recycling process. It was clear from speaking to the jurors that improving recycling performance will require the buy-in of government at all levels, the recycling industry, manufacturers, retailers, and householders. It cannot be achieved by any one sector in isolation.

The Citizens’ Jury approach provided participants with clear, objective information about recycling, that enabled „penny drop“ arguments to emerge – the bits of information that convinced people that recycling was the right thing to do.

Director of External Affairs for SITA UK, Dr Gev Eduljee, said: „From listening to our ‘jurors’ at the events, it is evident that much work remains to be done to help people living in urban environments to engage with recycling. We saw from the citizens’ juries that once householders are engaged, this empowers them to make their own positive choices and adjust their behaviours accordingly.“ And Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, Phil Barton commented: „It is clear that there is much work to do in order to enable England to meet and surpass recycling targets and that central to this is a need to engage householders and communities more deeply in understanding how recycling works, why it is important and the value of our finite resources.“

The 10 points include:

  • Create new and deeper public debate on the value of resources and waste
  • Continue to invest in communication
  • Profile the environmental, social and economic benefits of the waste and recycling sector
  • Enable authorities to introduce tax rebate for recycling more and reducing waste
  • Rebuild trust in recycling and demonstrate local community benefits
  • An overarching framework is needed to drive greater consistency in terms of waste and recycling infrastructure and service provision across England
  • Provide food waste collections for all households by 2016
  • City and town council planning requirements should include household recycling obligations for developers (particularly flats)
  • A revolution in the provision of recycling ‘on the go’
  • Design for waste prevention and recycling

Source: Keep Britain Tidy