Findings from CRJ Services’ Waste Index Report show of the 10 largest councils in the UK, six recorded a reduction in dry recycling since 2020 and seven recorded increases in waste to landfill or incineration.
The report analyses seven years of waste collection data (dry recycling, residual waste, organic waste, and food waste) from the 10 largest councils by population in the UK.
Recycling and waste management company CRJ Services is calling for local authorities to establish a consistent approach to recycling across regions. The company also wants councils to support customers to understand more about how to recycle their household waste.
In 2021/22, across the ten largest councils by population, 508,657 tonnes of waste was recycled. However, CRJ Services’ analysis shows that charging households “appears to reduce the amount of recycling collected overall”.
Local authorities are facing difficult decisions and in many cases, are having to sacrifice practices that would encourage effective recycling to stay afloat.
Rob Symons, Operations Director of CRJ, commented: “Local authorities are facing difficult decisions and in many cases, are having to sacrifice practices that would encourage effective recycling to stay afloat – illustrated by our findings. And while people are getting better at recycling, there’s still a lack of understanding, knowledge and even care when it comes down to where to discard your household waste.
“Private companies, especially manufacturers, have the power to reshape consumer behaviour and enhance recycling efforts without incurring substantial expenses. Whether it involves enhancing consumer awareness regarding packaging or introducing recycling incentives, companies can foster a genuine shift in individuals’ waste-consciousness.”
Here is the average recycling rate by household for each of the ten largest local councils in the UK, according to the report:
- Bristol: 46%
- Manchester City Council: 40%
- London Borough of Croydon: 39%
- Leeds City Council: 36%
- Bradford Metropolitan District Council: 36%
- Sheffield City Council: 32%
- London Borough of Barnet: 30%
- Kirklees: 27%
- Liverpool City Council: 23%
- Birmingham City Council: 23%