Melton Council aims to boost recycling performance after data shows it is yet to hit EU target

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Melton Council says it is taking steps to boost its recycling performance after a 40-strong league table of East Midlands authorities showed it is yet to hit a European Union target for the United Kingdom to recycle 50 per cent of household waste by 2020.

Melton Council was ranked in 16th place in the table compiled by the GMB Union, with 46.6 per cent of its household waste sent for re-use, recycling or composting.

The top performing East Midlands authority, with a household waste recycling rate of 59.9 per cent, was South Northamptonshire District Council. The worst performer was Bassetlaw District Council at 19.2 per cent.

The union said its information had been drawn from official data published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2014/15).

Jim Worley, Melton Council’s head of regulatory services, said: “The council currently has a contract that specifies our service and limits our opportunity to make changes, particularly in the light of the current financial position.

“But there are steps taken that help towards increasing recycling rates. Specifically these include publicity to help residents understand what can go in their recycling bin. That’s important because ‘contaminated’ material, for example bin loads with unrecyclable materials within such as clothing, is rejected and counts against recycling rates.

“Another step towards increasing recycling rates are new approaches to collection, for example the new communal facilities at Beckmill Court making it easier for residents to separate recycling materials from general waste.”

Mr Worley added: “The existing contract is approaching expiry and the council is preparing for its renewal. Within this exercise it will ask bidders what measures they can introduce to help increase recycling rates and this will form part of the evaluation of the new contract alongside other factors including overall cost.

“The council is also working with Leicestershire County Council to see if there are ways to increase the range of materials they can accept for recycling, therefore avoiding the need for them to be landfilled. This depends on the capability of the facilities that the county council use for disposal, whether it is economical to make use of them and change collections in order to push up recycling rates.”

To check what you can put in your brown recycling bins visit http://www.melton.gov.uk/info/200178/what_goes_in_my_bins/239/what_goes_in_my_brown_bin