Government proposal for all Hartlepool homes to have weekly food waste collections

Government consultation to be launch in the new year on recycling.
Government consultation to be launch in the new year on recycling.

Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs are looking at Government proposals aimed at creating food waste collections.

Every home in the country will have weekly food waste collections and packaging will be more clearly labelled to show if it can go in household recycling bins under plans set out by the Government.

Hartlepool Borough Council wheelie bins.

Hartlepool Borough Council wheelie bins.

The new waste and resources strategy comes after the latest figures for England revealed household recycling rates have all but flat-lined in recent years, and amid widespread concern over waste such as single-use plastics.

The strategy will make it easier for people to know what they can recycle wherever they live, with more consistent schemes from council to council.

The new strategy was announced this week by the Government and Hartlepool Borough Council says they are assessing the proposal.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have only just been made aware of the Government’s proposals which will be subject to consultation in the New Year, and until more detail emerges it is too early for us to comment.”

Producers will pay the full net costs of disposing or recycling their packaging, up from a contribution of just 10% currently, and money will go to councils to help them improve waste and recycling systems.

With the industry having to pay higher fees if their products are harder to reuse or recycle, it is hoped the move will encourage more sustainable design.

And it will raise between £500million and £1billion a year for recycling and disposing of rubbish, say the Department for the Environment, food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Manufacturers could also have to pay for dealing with waste textiles, vehicle tyres and mattresses, in the same way they currently do for items such as batteries and electrical goods.

The Government will introduce a consistent set of recyclable materials - for example card, tins and types of plastic - which all councils will be expected to pick up from homes and businesses.

Consistent labelling will be developed on packaging so consumers know if they can put it in the recycling bin, which could be as simple as a “green dot” on items that indicates they can be recycled.

And it will include a weekly collection of food waste from every household, as well as a potential return to free garden waste collections.

Cutting food and greenery from black bin waste will help meet targets to ensure zero food waste is going to landfill by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites.

The plans are all subject to consultation in the New Year.

Ministers are also set to consult on a deposit return scheme to boost recycling of bottles, cans and disposable coffee cups, and to introduce annual reporting of food waste by businesses - with mandatory targets if progress is not made on curbing the problem.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We really need to shift the dial on recycling and our strategy will help make that happen.

“We’ll make sure producers pay more in order to use the material that goes to generate all this waste.

“And we will use that money to ensure that across every local authority, we’ve got a more consistent approach to recycling that will help citizens know exactly what they should put in which bin.

“As a result, we will improve recycling in this country and use all resources more efficiently.”