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Recyclables to go in one bin under simpler collection plans in England

Households in England will in the future be able to put recyclables – plastic, metal, glass, paper and card – in one bin, the government has said.

Councils will also be able to co-collect food and garden waste under the new plans announced by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) today.

DEFRA said the same materials will be collected from homes, workplaces and schools across the country, to end the confusion caused by councils operating different systems.

It said the measures will mean people no longer have to check which materials their specific council will accept for recycling.

The move will also reduce complexity for waste collectors and boost recycling rates, it added.

The plans will apply to all homes in England, including flats.

In addition, DEFRA said it is supporting councils to increase collections to prevent bins from overflowing.

A minimum backstop will be introduced – so councils are expected to collect black bin waste at least fortnightly, alongside weekly food waste collections.

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore said: “We all want to do our bit to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill – but a patchwork of different bin collections across England means it can be hard to know what your council will accept.

“Our plans for Simpler Recycling will end that confusion: ensuring that the same set of materials will be collected regardless of where you live.”

Similar measures will apply to businesses, hospitals, schools and universities, places of worship, charity shops, hostels and public meeting places.

The government has not yet provided a timetable for when the scheme will be introduced. Sky News has contacted DEFRA to ask if a timetable has been set.

Paul Vanston, chief executive of the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), said: “Householders can take this government announcement as a pledge that, wherever we live across the nation, our local councils will all speedily implement recycling collections of the full range of materials that will match on-pack recycling labels citizens rely on for guidance.”

Councillor Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “Public satisfaction with local waste services remains very high, which councils have worked hard to achieve.

“What works in urban centres is different to rural communities. We are pleased the government has listened to the LGA and decided to allow councils to retain some of the flexibilities in how waste is collected from people’s homes. However, this flexibility should extend to frequency of collections in whatever way best supports communities to reduce waste and improve recycling.

“Our national ambitions for waste and recycling will only be achieved by fully empowered local delivery, alongside measures transferring the costs from taxpayers on to the waste producers.”

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