Despite the boasts of high recycling rates on Conservative election leaflets, recycling rates in Lincolnshire have plummeted since 2010 according to national recycling league tables.
In the County of Lincolnshire, the total rate of waste diverted from landfill has fallen every year for seven years from 53% in 2010 to 43% in 2018. The rate in South Kesteven has fallen every year resulting in a similar 10% reduction in overall rates which includes recycling through the silver and green bins.
The figure for 2017/18 has not yet been formally published but information data published by SKDC under a freedom of information request suggests that the percentage has now fallen to significantly below 40% (38.57% to be precise).
The main cause of the falling rates is the Conservative austerity measures which have had a massive impact on Council funding especially at Lincolnshire where local Tories decided to withdraw Recycling Credits which removed the incentive for many organisations to recycle.
Other reasons for the falling rates include:
- Higher contamination of recycling due to confusion about what can be recycled.
- Increased charges for green waste collections
- Obligations to meet supply targets for the County’s ‘waste to energy’ incinerator.
- Bureaucracy and resistance to new ideas by Conservatives at SKDC, e.g. unnecessary delay in trialling textiles banks on Council-owned sites.
- Delay by County anc District Councils in implementing a Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy which should determine a more consistent approach to waste and recycling across Lincolnshire
- A lack of focus on recycling and waste management.
Recycling rates are not just numbers, they are a crucial indicator of progress on waste management which, in turn, is a key contributory factor of carbon emissions in any given Local Authority area. It is time to challenge local authority complacency on this issue.
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