Portsmouth and Gosport named among worst spots for recycling in the UK

OUR efforts will see recycling improve in the future – that was the message of councillors in Portsmouth and Gosport after the authorities were ranked among the worst for green waste in the country.

By Fiona Callingham
Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 7:00 am
Recycling rates in Portsmouth and Gosport are low
Recycling rates in Portsmouth and Gosport are low

Between 2017 and 2018 Gosport Borough Council was the most poorly performing authority in the South East and the 9th worst nationally, recycling just 23 per cent of its household waste.

And Portsmouth City Council was not far behind, recycling just 24.8 per cent of rubbish and ranking 14th from the bottom.

The data, produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and collated by waste disposal company InSinkErator, also showed that both were well below the UK average recycling rate of 45.7 per cent.

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But Councillor Graham Burgess, chairman of Gosport’s community board, said that the council was working to change this.

‘We are trying to improve things in several ways,’ he said.

‘We now employ two recycling officers and their job is to go to the schools and talk to children about the importance of green waste – particularly about what can and can’t be recycled. We all know that if you teach children about these things the adults will follow.

‘At the moment a big problem is contamination where some of the wrong things are being put in the recycling bins. If that happens we have to throw a lot of it away.

‘Soon we will have three enforcement officers starting to monitor this kind of thing. We can work out roughly where a contaminated bin came from so the officers will be able to target that area with leaflets and talk to residents there.’

Portsmouth City Council’s environment boss Cllr Dave Ashmore explained that this data was collected before major changes to waste disposal were made last year. He said: ‘The rates for 2017 to 2018 were recorded before we rolled out the black bin scheme so it’s no surprise the figures are bad.

‘Not only did the black bins reduce the amount of waste people were throwing out but it made them think more about recycling. We had so many requests for green bins in the process.

‘We also introduced two new bins to recycle cartons – or Tetra Paks – in the Asda and Morrison’s car parks. They’ve been so popular that we’re requesting to increase the collections from those bins.

‘Food waste bins will also be introduced this year that should help people think even more about their waste.’

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He added: ‘With the climate emergency that was declared recently it is more important than ever that we work to improve our recycling rates.’

Since the black bins were introduced in Portsmouth last year the council has recorded that an additional 15 tonnes of recycling is now collected from households each month. This places overall recycling rates in the city up to 26.8 per cent

Recycling rates in Havant Borough Council were 30.7 per cent. In Fareham they were 34 per cent.