Worthing’s recycling rate ‘rising to impressive levels’

There have been multiple changes to household waste collections in the town over the past few years.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 11:47 am
Household waste and recycling bins

Recycling rates are on the up and residents could soon be able to recycle electrical items on the kerb.

At Worthing Borough Council’s full meeting on Tuesday (October 19) Louise Murphy (Con, Offington) said recycling rates had risen to ‘impressive levels’ but she wanted to know if there were any plans to collect more items from the kerbside.

‘Talking rubbish’

A recycle station

Executive member for digital and environmental services Edward Crouch (Con, Marine), who has a responsibility for waste collection and recycling, said the borough is ‘hovering very close to the much coveted 50 per cent recycling target’.

He said: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk rubbish, sorry to talk about rubbish.

“I’m confident we will reach that [50 per cent target].”

In terms of future plans, he added: “The jargon is WEEE [Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment] – these small electrical items will be able to be collected kerbside.

“A free service is coming very, very shortly.”

Mr Crouch said the service could be particularly important in the run-up to Christmas, adding: “If it’s broken beyond repair, and you’re sure it’s broken beyond repair, you’ll be able to put that out with your weekly bin and that’ll be collected for free.

“If it looks recyclable, it probably is.”

Currently, small electrical items have to be disposed of at household waste recycling sites (tips).

Mr Crouch also pointed out that a green waste service and repair cafés were also available in the district.

New bins collect more than a ton of recycling

Ferdousi Henna Chowdhury (Lab, Gaisford) said that more recycling bins in public spaces would make recycling accessible.

But Mr Crouch said that, when trialled, public recycling bins had been contaminated with ‘nappies or non recyclable stuff’.

That said, he pointed to the success of new seafront bins, some of which can hold 480 litres of recyclables.

He said: “The re-purposed seafront bins have had specific apertures attached so you can’t stuff them with non recyclable stuff.

“From August to date, we’ve had a metric ton of recyclable waste going into those six units.

“My aspiration is, wherever we have a refuse bin, we should also have recycling.”

No sign of food waste collections

Ms Chowdhury wanted to know if there were plans to collect food waste.

Although a food waste collection trial took place in Arun district, there don’t seem to be plans to introduce this in Worthing.

Instead, the focus is on reducing the amount of food wasted and ‘hot bins’ are being trialled to compost waste in residents’ back gardens.

A survey showed that more than 29 per cent of refuse in West Sussex bins was food waste.

Mr Crouch said that a commercial food waste service had recently been launched and a ‘hybrid’ scheme of food waste caddies and composting was being discussed.

“The most important message though is: ‘don’t waste food’,” he said.

“People should be very cautious with what they buy and not be too drawn in by buy one get one deals.

“We will keep the [council] chamber updated but we’re looking at it constantly.”

What are recycling rates like?

Alternate recycling and refuse collections were introduced in Adur and Worthing in September 2019 in an attempt to increase recycling, which remains below the West Sussex average.

Household recycling in both Adur and Worthing increased from 36 per cent of waste in 2019 to an average of 40 per cent by July 2020.

In August 2021, recycling rates rose to 41.5 per cent in Worthing compared to the West Sussex average of 53.1 per cent.

England and Wales Waste Regulations (2011) required all local authorities to recycle 50 per cent of their waste by 2020 and 65 per cent by 2035.