We need more incentives for people to recycle, admit councillors

Worcester News: Do you need incentives to recycle? Do you need incentives to recycle?

A HUNT for new incentives to encourage people to recycle more is kicking off in Worcestershire.

Politicians at the county council have revealed they are concerned about stagnating recycling rates.

Despite the percentage of household rubbish being re-used surging in recent years, from 20 per cent in Worcestershire in 2005 to 43 per cent in 2011, it has now plateaued.

The rest of the rubbish is sent to landfill, which is subjected to heavy Government taxes and hit a record £9.8 million last year for Worcestershire and Herefordshire combined.

During a full council meeting debate, politicians said they wanted to see an "action plan" to get the percentages up.

The Conservative leadership agreed to back a motion from the Liberal Democrats and Greens calling for renewed efforts to boost it.

Councillor Liz Tucker, Lib Dem group leader, said: "All of the authorities appear to be stuck where they are, with no idea if they will ever reach 50 per cent (of household waste recycled).

"We want to see an action plan and we want to see full, measurable targets."

The current recycling rates for each district vary, from 31 per cent in Malvern to 37 per cent in Worcester and 43 per cent in Wychavon.

Councillor Sue Askin, a fellow Lib Dem, said: "The take-up of recycling is slowing down and must be boosted - 37 per cent is good but it could be better.

"What we're asking for is an active approach to recycling."

The Tory cabinet said it was an agenda worth pursuing, and that it was willing to back the motion.

It calls for talks with district councils over "measurable targets for improvement" and the launch of new incentives to encourage the public.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for the environment, said: "I absolutely agree that we need targets on recycling.

"In the national league tables at the moment Wychavon is 8th and Worcester 11th, while Bromsgrove is 106th, but the percentage rates are not that much different and 0.1 percentage points often separates many places.

"Overall we are doing well but we could do better."

* DO you need incentives to recycle? Leave your comments below or email te@worcesternews.co.uk.

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