By Tony Earnshaw Local Democracy Reporter
KIRKLEES Council is recycling an extra 35 tonnes of rubbish every week – the equivalent of six full bin wagons of waste.
And the authority, which has ambitions to lift its recycling rates to become “one of the best boroughs in the country”, is urging residents to do their bit.
The council says its recent crackdown on contaminated green bins has been successful in that many people are now recycling better.
Kirklees’ recycling rate during 2017/18 was 27 per cent, falling well below the national average of 45 per cent.
New rates, which are published annually, will be released in November by the Department for Food, Environment & Rural Affairs.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture, Coun Rob Walker, said: “We take recycling very seriously and our rates in Kirklees are simply not good enough at the moment.
“Kirklees Council’s main objective is to improve recycling rates across the borough.
“The next set of recycling rates results will not reflect this good work yet as they are back-dated.
“However, improvements are expected in future results, with the quality and volume of waste coming into Kirklees’ recycling centre in Huddersfield – operated by Suez – already visible.”
In April the council began confiscating contaminated green bins as part of a programme aimed at advising residents on what could and could not be recycled, and why some waste was being rejected.
By July 23 it had seized 1,650 bins – representing less than one per cent of households. They are now to be handed back.
Coun Walker said the process had been “incredibly useful”.
He added: “We have found that the majority of residents are willing to learn about recycling and want to put the right items in the right bins.
“We have also learned that some people would like clearer information on recycling and we are working on this.
“A small minority don’t want to recycle and make no effort to and that is why their bin was removed, to prevent contamination of recycling loads.
“In total less than one per cent of households had their green bin removed. We never intended to retain these bins but to educate and help those householders to recycle before returning them.
“I will soon be writing to residents to offer them their green bins back, as was always the plan.”
However he warned those who persistently make no effort to use their green bins for recycling “will face losing them because we have to take issues that impact our environment extremely seriously.”
The council made its announcement to mark Recycle Week, running from September 23-29.
It is committed to creating less waste and recycling more as part of its commitment to a Climate Emergency, which was declared in January.
Coun Walker said: “We cannot declare this and not follow through by shirking our responsibility in ensuring everyone does their part to recycle.
“We will be presenting an action plan, which lays out our targets and aims, in the coming months.”