Household rubbish rejected for recycling up by 84%

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Government figures show rise in rejected recycling over the last four years

According to government figures, the amount of household rubbish across England that is being rejected for recycling, has increased over the last four years by a staggering 84%.

A BBC Freedom of Information request discovered that councils from 2014-15 could not recycle 338,000 tons of waste, a figure that has risen by around 184,000 since 2011-12.

However, data released by the Department for Environment, shows that the total waste recycled, went up from 10.7m to 11m tons a year during the same period.

Work is now being done by councils to help people understand what items can and can’t be recycled, to stop things being put into the wrong bins.

The main reason that a large amount of waste is being rejected, is down to costs incurred by local authorities having to re-sort contaminated recycling bins.

It was discovered by the Freedom of Information Request by BBC Breakfast, that 97% of the rejected rubbish was sent to landfill, or incinerated in 2013-14. This year is the most recent that figures are available for.

From 2011-12, a little over 173,000 tons of rejected waste was sent to landfill or incinerated, two years later, that figure rose to 270,000 tons.

A quick ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ recycling guide:



What items can and can’t be placed on the kerbside for household collection does vary from council to council.

Registered waste and resource charity WRAP, says that contamination could be reduced if there was a consistent set of guidelines across the country that all households could follow and understand. At the moment, it is believed that there are around 300 different recycling schemes at work throughout England.

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