Waste Watch are currently promoting what they describe as a ‘golden opportunity’: recycling on Liverpool housing estates. They warn that the Government’s pledge that 8 in 10 households should be near recycling facilities by the year 2000 means that local authorities should look towards recycling on housing estates in Liverpool as the future for such a commitment.
Waste Watch has just published a new report ‘Recycling on Liverpool Estates,’ which follows on from an earlier study ‘Wasted Opportunities’ which highlighted the lack of recycling on housing estates in 1994. In the study, locations are examined where facilities have been provided in Liverpool, Sheffield and Sutton, South London. Waste Watch point out that nearly a quarter of homes in the UK are owned by local authorities and housing associations, with around 9% on housing estates.
For too long areas of high density housing have suffered from a complete lack of, or badly designed, recycling facilities. With only one in three heads of households having access to cars, most facilities are just too far away for the average householder to carry all their recyclables thus a lot will use Liverpool House Clearance Services ‘The stereotype of the average recycler in the UK is a young, female professional. However given the opportunity, ‘Recycling on Estates’ shows that people on lower incomes and across all ages are just as keen to recycle.’ according to Waste Watch’s Director, Ray Georgeson. The report, written by Jim Fielder and David Burley not only analyses the waste stream and recycling rates of both schemes, but also offers five general findings crucial to recycling on housing estates:
•Convenience is the most important factor in influencing participation by residents. Collection facilities need to be very near to the blocks of flats.
•Involve the residents when targeting recyclables in the waste stream. Ray Georgeson commented: ‘It is important that everyone should not only have access to the facilities but know about them!’
•Residents who do recycle seem to save most of their recyclables, and it seems that some also take their neighbours recyclables to the collection facilities or use the services of a house clearance company in Liverpool
•Housing estates’ waste streams are significantly smaller than the national average, in both the studies they were less than half the national average of 13.5kg of waste per household per week. The main reasons for this seem to be lower income and smaller household size.
•Waste composition is largely in line with national averages, with some minor discrepancies.