Opposition politicians criticise Sheffield 'recycling reduction'

Laura Gordon with Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed
Laura Gordon with Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed

Opposition politicians have criticised Sheffield City Council’s planned changes to recycling collections, set to be rolled out over the city over the next few months.

Black bin collections will remain fortnightly, but the new system will see the introduction of a new brown bin - to replace the existing blue box - to be used for glass, cans and plastic bottles.

Council Lewis Dagnall with the newly-delivered bins.

Council Lewis Dagnall with the newly-delivered bins.

A reduction in recycling collections from fortnightly to monthly, the Liberal Democrats say.

The comment comes a call from the party for Sheffield City Council to do more to increase recycling.

Laura Gordon, Lib Dem Parliamentary Campaigner for Sheffield Hallam said: “The council's response to the worst recycling rate in Yorkshire is to cut recycling.

“We know the damage that can be done if we don’t look after our environment. While East Yorkshire recycle nearly 66 per cent of their household waste, we manage less than 30 per cent - that's the worst percentage in Yorkshire. Our city should be finding ways to expand recycling, not cut it.

“At the moment, kerbside recycling only covers plastic bottles, glass and paper. This needs to be expanded to cover items such as yoghurt pots, carrier bags, margarine tubs, food trays and bottle tops. These items can be recycled just a few miles down the road in Chesterfield, but not here - we need to do better.

“The Lib Dem petition to improve recycling already has over 1,300 signatures in just a few days, and this was before the council announced their cuts to recycling collections.

“We need an ambitious Council to move our city forward. Right now, Labour are letting Sheffield down.”

The existing blue bin will now be used to recycle paper and card - with collections taking place once monthly on alternative fortnights between black bin collections.

Plans to replace individual bins with larger communal dumpster bins in parts of the city has also been axed after a public consultation failed to back the proposal.

The majority of residents will keep the same collection day, and the brown deliveries will take place over a 12-week period, costing the authority around £2m, which they say will be recouped over the next two years by making savings in collection costs.

Bins will be delivered in two phases - properties in the north of the city will have bins delivered between July 30 and September 8 in the north of the city, with the first collections of the new system beginning August 27.

The second phase in the south of Sheffield will run from September 10 to October 20, with first collections commencing on October 15.

Leaflets will also be delivered to every household explaining the changes and including a calendar of collection dates.

Special leaflets will also be delivered to areas with a large number of residents who are not native English speakers, and another to areas with a high density of students.

Councillor Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for environment and street scene, said: “Recycling is very much in the public mind at the moment because of Blue Planet and other related issues about how we can increase recycling and reduce plastic waste.

“And so it seems like a really good time to be expanding the service for households with a new brown bin, and then later in the year we will be rolling out a new recycling service as well to flats and maisonettes across the city.”

In 2016/17 Sheffield’s recycling rate has only increased by 4.66 per cent over the last 10 years to 29.6 per cent, the Lib Dems said.

Meanwhile Rotherham increased recycling by 13.76 per cent to 42.1 per cent, Chesterfield by 14.31 per cent to 46 per cent, Doncaster by 22.6 per cent to 47 per cent and Barnsley by 24.4 per cent to 48.5 per cent.

Sheffield dropped from 231 in the recycling league table back in 2006/7 to 314 in the 2016/17 league table.