A report due to be discussed by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee on July 11 shows recycling rates hitting their lowest point since 2008. The City Performance Report demonstrates that recycling rates have fallen from 29.5% in 2008 to a current 26%, with the sharpest decrease occurring since the Green Party took over the running of the council.
The same report shows Carbon Dioxide emissions have sharply risen during the same period of Green Council control from 305 kilo tonnes in 2011 to a current 320kt.
Excuses given for the poor recycling performance range from glass bottles now weighing less, people not using printed media and an increase in home composting despite the fact that the council does not collect garden waste.
Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Councillor Gill Mitchell, said:
“The record of the Greens on these two key areas, recycling rates and air quality is abysmal. What is the point of Brighton and Hove being a One Planet City if they can’t get the basics right?”
The council’s Municipal Waste Strategy reviewed in 2012 sets a target for recycling of 40% by 2015 / 16 rising to 45% by 2020/21.
The City’s One Planet Living Target is 70% by 2025.
Labour plans to implement communal recycling are predicted to increase the recycling rate by 3%, back to the 2008 level.
Councillor Pete West, Chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said:
“Waste reduction and recycling has long been overlooked by previous administrations, which we’re remedying through investing in the introduction of communal recycling bins in the city centre. This will make it just as easy for city centre residents to recycle as dispose of other waste.
“We are doing targeted work with communities and schools to encourage better recycling where needed. We’ve also been supporting a growing number of community food composting schemes across the city. Most importantly the overall amount of waste we produce has dropped, which is good news.
“We are determined to tackle carbon emissions, through a range of initiatives including promoting walking and cycling in the city, better-insulated homes and fitting more solar panels across council buildings. These and other initiatives will over time reduce harmful emissions.”