Monday, 19 August 2013

How we could avoid fly tipping and increase recycling rates.

The small town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany doesn’t have a problem with fly tipping. One of their waste managers says that their waste recycling scheme is so cheap and easy to use that they don’t need to pursue and fine fly tippers because there isn’t a problem.

Here Kent County Council complains that it is difficult to catch fly tippers and expensive to prosecute. Maybe we should do things the German way on this?

So how does Neustadt ensure that people recycle and don’t fly tip? For starters there is no payment at all for collection of recyclable waste. Bins for residual non recyclable waste are much smaller than here: standard wheelie bin in the UK 240l, standard bin in Neustadt 60l – and a 40l bin is available at a reduced waste collection fee. Collections are fortnightly but weekly collections are available – at twice the price.

Half a tonne of construction waste costs 270 Euros to leave at the waste site – but only 17 Euros if it is sorted, and the site is only a mile from the town. That’s cheap and convenient.

Recycling rate in the UK currently around 40%, target for 2020 50%. Recycling rate in Germany already 70%, target for 2020 100%.

Why can’t we do that? Because there is a lack of political will. Instead of encouraging recycling, the Minister for local government and communities has just handed out money to selected local authorities to reintroduce weekly bin collections – a measure which is guaranteed to reduce recycling rates.

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