#Local Government
Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council
United Kingdom

Do you think that local recycling needs improving? Well so do Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Friends of the Earth. We all agree that significant changes need to be made, and are working together to develop a new policy that will improve recycling.

In our discussions with both councils, we have identified a number of key changes that are required if we are going to take recycling seriously. However, these changes will require a major reform in how waste is collected from our houses. Only with significant public support, can these improvements be successful so we have launched a campaign to raise local residents’ awareness of the need for change and to gain your support for it.

The current rate of waste recycling across Harrogate is just over 30%, considerably below the average for North Yorkshire of 40%+. Harrogate Borough Council is making some progress in increasing the recycling figures but must make substantial improvements or face the risk of large fines, which will be passed on to on Council Tax payers. Escalating charges for landfill and landfill tax for materials that could be recycled will be imposed.

All other districts within North Yorkshire operate alternate, weekly kerbside collections for recyclables and non-recyclables. They have increased the range of materials for collection to include plastic bottles, garden waste and cardboard (as well as tins, glass, newspaper and magazines.) This has led to higher recycling rates. In other parts of the country councils are achieving well over 50% recycling rates with similar good practices and by communicating to residents the value of recycling. As the waste disposal authority, North Yorkshire County Council has an important role to play in supporting these improvements.

Recycling diverts valuable materials from landfill thereby saving energy, reducing raw material extraction and helping to combat climate change. The vast majority of studies have found that recycling our rubbish is better for the environment rather than incineration or landfill. Most importantly, we all also need to live more 'sustainably' - in other words make the best use of limited natural resources.

At the moment there is no direct recycling communication between residents and the councils. The Councils do not effectively tell residents what happens to the materials collected and/or their value. Research has shown, that when residents are better informed, the higher the participation rate is and the greater the quantity recycled.

Harrogate Friends of the Earth is proposing that we increase recycling in the district through a number of measures that have been proven nationally to be successful. The public and both councils need to work together to implement these improvements successfully. Please give your support to this campaign by signing our petition to support the councils to improve local recycling.

Under the LDEDC Act (2009) local residents of any age are entitled to electronically petition their local government. Signatories to any petition must provide a name and address (the address can be home, work or place of study).

For further information about the importance of recycling and about our campaign or to make any comments then please visit our website at www.harrogatefoe.org.uk

We, the undersigned believe that recycling in Harrogate District urgently needs to be improved. We support the Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council in adopting a policy to improve the district’s recycling that:

1. Increases the number of kerbside materials collected to include cardboard, plastic and Tetra Pak cartons.

2. Expands the number of households entitled to the kerbside collection of garden waste.

3. Implements a kerbside alternate weekly collection for recycling and non-recycling waste

4. Introduces a separate kerbside food waste collection scheme on a weekly basis.

5. Invests in promoting home composting and the offer of discounted compost bins.

6. Invests in providing good customer care services for households to encourage greater participation through increased regular publicity of services and what happens to the collected materials.

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The Improving Harrogate District's Recycling petition to Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council was written by Harrogate FoE and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.