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Recycling in the United Kingdom

The majority of recycling undertaken in the United Kingdom is undertaken by statutory authorities. Local Authorities are responsible for the collection of municipal waste and operate contracts which are usually kerbside collection schemes. The Household Waste Recycling Act (2003) requires Local Authorities to provide every household with a separate collection of at least two types of recyclable materials by 2010.[1]



Local Authorities are given incentives towards meeting recycling targets set by European, national and regional Government by the imposition of financial penalties for failing to recycle. For example, levies are imposed on the proportion of waste material going to landfill under a landfill tax.


The issue of waste management and recycling is acute in London - the capital produces 17 million tonnes of waste each year, forecast to rise to 26.5 million tonnes in 2020[2]. The Mayor's Greater London Authority sets the framework for dealing with waste within a London-wide Municipal Waste Management Strategy including recycling targets for the London Boroughs to meet, which are made statutory within the London Plan. The existing organisational arrangements however are complex with a number of waste disposal authorities at sub-regional and local levels.


Birmingham City Council have introduced three kerbside collection schemes. (1) Paper & Card Recycling (Blue Bag/Box). Introduced 2003. Container emptied every 2 weeks. (2) Plastic Bottles (PET&HDPE), Glass, Aluminium & Tins Recycling (Green Box). Introduced 2005. Container emptied every 2 weeks. (3) Garden Waste Recycling (Green Sacks). Introduced 2005. Sacks collected every 2 weeks. These three schemes are now available to most of Birmingham's houses/flats depending on houses/flats with or without gardens. The Paper & Garden Waste recycling facility is available to all houses in Birmingham. The Green Box scheme is going to be available to all houses by March 2008. Also, there are five household recycling centres and over 400 recycling banks across the whole of Birmingham. Recycling banks normally include: Paper & Card Recycling, Glass Recycling, Clothes Recycling, Shoes Recycling, Textiles Recycling, Aluminium Cans Recycling, e.t.c

See also

  • Waste Disposal Authorities in Greater London


  1. ^ Friends of the Earth - "Recycling Bill success!"
  2. ^ The London Plan, Mayor of London, (Feb 2004), p158.

External websites

  • Recycle Now
  • WEEE collector and reuser in Bristol
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Recycling_in_the_United_Kingdom". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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