New powers to give out fines to people who refuse to use their recycling waste collection, is one of a number of new proposals being discussed by the body representing Welsh councils in order to reach a zero landfill waste target by 2050.
Is It Right To Fine People Who Won’t Recycle?
So far progress towards reaching the targets has been slower than expected, leading Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to look for alternative options to encourage more people to recycle their waste.
Andrew Morgan, from the group, acknowledged the move “would not be popular with some”. The Welsh government has said it will be happy to discuss the plan, after the countries recent recycling rate of 56% for 2013/14 was a rise of just 2% on the previous year.
All Welsh councils have been set the target to recycle 58% of waste by 2016 and the target will eventually rise to 100% by 2050. Mr Morgan says that councils across the country are already putting in efforts to educate people about the importance of using their recycling waste collection.
“Our team go and knock on their door and speak to them - maybe just encourage them to recycle paper - get into the habit of doing something… doing it slowly and showing people that it isn't that difficult to do,” he said.
“There is still a small minority who simply won't recycle even when they've been spoken to two or three times they just simply say 'no'.
“Potentially in future I think local government could well be asking for powers to issue fines if the Welsh government wants us to hit targets.”
Despite being a minority, it is generally agreed that those who simply refuse are unlikely to change their ways without being forced through fines or similar means. Councils already face fines if they do not meet the government’s targets, something which could eventually become impossible once it is only the stubborn majority left.
The current figures from Wales still put them above the 45% average which is achieved across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and even above the 50% EU target.
A Welsh government spokesman said: “Local authorities already have powers to require householders to put recyclable waste into the right containers and householders may be fined if they fail to do this.
“However, we would be happy to discuss this further with local authorities to see if there is a need to provide stronger powers.”
Start An Effective Recycling Waste Collection For Your Business
At Recycling Services we manage every aspect of your waste for you, collecting most waste types including hazardous waste and recyclables. Providing you with environmental reporting everything month, our one-stop-shop recycling waste collection services will ensure that all your waste needs are met.
If you would like to find out more, then please get in touch with the Recycling Services team who will happy to answer any questions you may have. Please call us today on 01952 20447101952 204471.