Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Money spent up, recycling down: another Lib Dem failure

So much for the Lib Dem 'plan' to increase Bristol's recycling rate to 50%. They banged on about this so much (see policy six in their 'six to fix') but have not delivered - and it looks like there are lessons to learn for all who want higher recycling rates about how to get larger numbers of the public onside.

BRISTOL City Council spent £45,000 hiring "waste doctors" to encourage more people to recycle but they appear to have had the opposite effect.

The "Recycling For All" pilot scheme was launched last September with two officers monitoring the rubbish produced by 3,275 homes in the city.

But rather than improve recycling rates the statistics show fewer people recycled their food, bottles and papers after the pilot than before.

Recycling For All was one of four projects the waste doctors were involved in.

If they found people were not recycling, the officers would send letters advising them how they could.

They also had the power to issue a £75 fixed penalty fine or begin court proceedings that could result in fines of up to £1,000 if people continued to refuse to recycle.

The idea was to drive Bristol's already impressive recycling rate of 39 per cent up – one of the highest in the country – even further.

The council had hoped a successful pilot could be expanded across the city, pushing the recycling rate up to 50 per cent.

But far from improving performance, results from the pilot show recycling rates dropped by an average of 10 per cent – and in some parts of the city by as much as 30 per cent...

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