Calderdale burns more rubbish now than two years ago, figure shows

Calderdale burns more rubbish now than two years ago, figure shows
Calderdale burns more rubbish now than two years ago, figure shows

Calderdale is burning more rubbish than it did two years ago, figures show.

While many households are making an effort to separate their waste, recent reports revealed that a lack of facilities leads to millions of plastic bottles, pots and trays placed in recycling bins being incinerated across the country.

To reduce plastic usage, the Government has announced a ban on the supply of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds in England from April 2020.

In 2017-18, Calderdale incinerated 39,378 tonnes of all waste, 46 per cent of the total, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures.

That is worse than two years ago, when 33 per cent of the rubbish was recycled.

England burnt 42 per cent of its waste over the last year, up from 35 per cent two years ago.

The second most common way of disposing rubbish in Calderdale was recycling. In 2017-18, 51 per cent of waste was recycled or composted. The rate has stayed the same since 2015-16.

And four per cent of waste was dumped in landfills.

Recoup, a charity that promotes plastic recycling, said that the problem was linked to China's decision last year to ban imports of plastic waste, and restrictions introduced by other countries receiving waste from Britain.

Most plastic trays used for meat, fruit and other food are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which is so brittle that it has to be sent to specialist recycling facilities.

To improve recycling rates, the Government has announced that every home will have weekly food waste collections and packaging will be more clearly labeled to show if it can go in household recycling bins.

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner, said people doing their best to recycle plastic will be appalled to find out it's ending up in incinerators.

He said: "All but a tiny fraction of plastic is made of fossil fuels like oil and gas so burning these pots and packaging contributes to the climate emergency as well as trashing public trust in the recycling industry.

"The only way out of the plastic pollution crisis is to radically reduce how much plastic we produce in the first place.

"The sooner the UK government legislates to make this happen the sooner we’ll be able to stop burning the stuff and dumping it on vulnerable communities overseas."

Local authorities, responding to a Recoup report, admitted that they were incinerating "low-grade" plastic.

Councillor Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said: "The best way to reduce waste is through changes to packaging and reducing the waste businesses generate each year, including the amount of unrecyclabes.

"Critical to this goal it is vital that manufacturers and retailers also pay toward the cost of recycling. In 2017, producers only paid £73 million towards the cost of managing waste packing.

"This compares with an estimated cost to councils of £700 million for managing the collection and disposal of packaging waste."