Kirklees recycling rate ‘embarrassing’

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The future of waste disposal in Kirklees is being considered after a senior councillor branded the authority’s recycling rate “embarrassing”.

Councillors have been asked to consider ideas as the council’s current contract with Sita will need extending, renewing, updating or scrapping by 2022/23.

The council must act to halt the decline in recycling

The percentage of household waste in Kirklees sent for reuse, recycling or composting stood at 30.87 per cent in 2013/14. Neighbouring Calderdale has the best record in Yorkshire at 60 per cent.

However, 93 per cent of Kirklees’ waste is diverted from landfill. A lot of the material is burned in a waste-to-energy plant in Huddersfield.

Kirklees Tory leader Coun Robert Light said: “The council must act to halt the decline in recycling by introducing new initiatives.”

He said Kirklees’ recycling rate was “embarrassing”.

But Kirklees Cabinet member for Place Coun Peter McBride said increasing the rate would come at a cost.

“We might not recycle all the items some other local authorities do, but to get to that level would mean a massive increase to the ratepayer,” he said.

Recycling costs £42.77 per head in Kirklees, while in Calderdale it is £68.45.

Ideas to improve the recycling rate in the short-term include bringing in community-specific collections of waste items. One example could mean a collection of nappies if there is an area with a high birth rate.

Kirklees scrapped doorstep glass collections last year to cut costs.