Peterborough residents produce the weight of four washing machines in waste EACH per year

Residents in Peterborough produce more than 400kg of waste each in a year - the weight of four washing machines.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 4:58 am
File: Black rubbish bin SUS-200915-124835001

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows that Peterborough City Council collected 413.3 kg of household waste per person from homes in the area in 2019-20 – though that was 19.1 kg less than five years earlier.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said there is an “urgent need” to completely overhaul how waste collection and disposal is approached, with more responsibility on producers to reduce packaging.

Of the waste collected from homes in Peterborough, 43.3 per cent was sent for reuse, recycling or composting – that is a worse rate than five years ago when the figure was 46.6%.

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This is also below the rate for the Eastern Region, where 48.6 per cent of household waste was sent for recycling or reuse in 2019-20.

Peterborough households have up to four bins each. A grey one for food waste, green for recycling, brown for garden waste and black for general unrecycled waste. Additional recyclable waste is allowed to be placed in clear bags for collection beside the green bin.

Over the last 20 years, the overall recycling rate in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has increased significantly, from 17 per cent in 1999/2000 to over 52 per cent in 2018/19.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive officer at Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Recycling rates have stalled for a decade.

“The hope is that the Environment Bill will see the crucial measures outlined in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy actually come about.

“These include Extended Producer Responsibility, a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers and consistent recycling collections, including food waste, which if they happen will make all the difference and get us where we need to be in terms of our current goals.

“If, through introducing these measures, we can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging reaching the market, ensure that refillable options are incentivised and insist all single-use packaging is 100% closed loop recyclable consistently across the national, then, and only then, we will hit our goals and fix a system that is currently going nowhere.”

She added that with a third of food produced being wasted, there was also an urgent need to reduce this type of waste.

“Ensuring young people learn to cook and value food is one aspect of the solution.

“In addition, we need to see an end to in-store promotions that encourage us to buy more than we need,” she added.

Residents across the Eastern Region produced an even worse average of 426.5kg of household waste per person in 2019-20 – that is 13.2kg more than in Peterborough.

Across England, 407.3 kg of rubbish per person were collected from homes in the year to March, a decrease from last year’s figure of 409.3kg.

Coun David Renard, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “We are very pleased that the management of household waste continues to head in the right direction, with kilograms of waste per person reducing.

“Now that local authorities have helped the nation get into a good position, we look forward to the introduction of extended producer responsibility and deposit return schemes so that the producers of packaging and drinks containers can start to cover the costs.”