The Council has launched a consultation on plans to boost recycling rates by making it far easier for residents to recycle.
Increases in landfill taxes and possible penalty charges, along with the pressure to find additional space for landfill on the Island, means that the council needs to radically change the way it deals with household waste.
The council currently pays landfill tax of £56 per tonne which is set to increase to £80 per tonne by 2014. If the council continues to landfill at the current rate, the Island will have to fork out well over £2 million in landfill tax next year. It could also face significant penalty charges of £150 per tonne if targets on landfill are not met. All of this is money which the local authority would much rather be spending on providing services for residents and keeping council tax down.
The Island currently has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country as only 36 per cent of the Island’s domestic waste is recycled. The council plans to turn this around by making it easier for people to recycle. Using the system the council is now proposing, other local authorities have achieved recycling rates of over 65 per cent and the council sees no reason why, with the support of residents, such a recycling rate cannot be achieved on the Island.
The intention is to continue to collect food waste on a weekly basis and expand the range of materials which are currently accepted for recycling through the black box scheme. That recycling would continue to be collected every other week as normal although the council would provide wheelie bins with a larger capacity than the black boxes. This would allow for the increased range of materials to be accepted for recycling. By expanding the range of materials which can be recycled and providing larger capacity wheelie bins for this, the council anticipates being able to make a step change in the proportion of waste that is recycled. In addition, a fortnightly collection for any remaining waste would be introduced.
Cllr Edward Giles, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet Member responsible for waste and recycling, said: “We need to plan for a more sustainable way of reducing, preventing and disposing of the waste we produce and we want to gather residents’ views about our plans to do this.
“Under our proposals we hope to make it easier for households to recycle by accepting a wider range of materials for recycling without the need to sort it into multiple containers, as is often the case elsewhere in the country.
“Waste won’t just disappear if we ignore it, so as a community, we need to look at ways to actively re-use and recycle our waste. By doing so we can also significantly reduce the cost to the taxpayer of meeting landfill tax and penalty charges.”
People can find out more about the proposed changes and take part in the four-week consultation by visiting www.iwight.com/wasteconsultation. The site also contains a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.
Paper copies of the survey can obtained from libraries, help centres and County Hall in Newport.
The results of the consultation will be reported back to the council’s cabinet in June 2011 where they will decide whether to adopt the changes in collection arrangements.