Major changes coming to bin collections for every home in England
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Let's face it - sorting the bins every week is the bane of many of our existences.
From the faff of getting the right bin for the right day, wheeling them out the night before and the neighbour politics when one of yours gets nicked - we're all very aware that bin day is a right pain.
Recycling in England is now set to be standardised from 2026, with all homes, businesses and schools recycling the same materials, the Government has said.
There will also be a once-a-week minimum requirement for the collection of food waste, which the Government said would reduce the amount going to landfill.
Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey has since described the current bin collection system as a 'postcode lottery' which sees people living in different areas not being able to recycle the same materials.
While the changes will result in higher costs for councils, according to the District Councils’ Network (DCN), the decision has been welcomed to allow for discretion in how to collect waste in certain areas.
The Government said it wants to simplify recycling for people across England, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales setting their own policies under devolution.
Coffey said: "Simpler recycling will help us all recycle more easily, doing our bit to help save the planet and make the best use of precious resources that we use every day.
"Alongside weekly food waste collections, we are ending the postcode lottery of what you can put in your bin so that wherever you live in the country, you will be able to recycle the same products with confidence."
The changes come after the Government saying it wants to eliminate all reusable or recyclable waste going to landfill by 2050.
Anyone out there with green fingers will also be happy to know that ministers also want to introduce free garden waste collections for every home instead of giving councils discretion on whether to charge or not.
However, the DCN said this would result in people who do not use the service subsidising those who do.
Councillor Sarah Nelmes, the DCN’s environment spokesperson, said: "Today’s announcement that councils will be able to collect waste materials however they decide is a victory for common sense.
"We can continue to rely on the local solutions which have increased recycling rates and we now have the certainty we need to take long-term decisions on how to improve services for our residents and to help us move towards net zero.
"Although we will be spared the costs of buying vast numbers of bins and vehicles for the sole purpose of conforming to top-down stipulation, there will still be significant costs attached to the reforms, and we await further detail from the Government on how they will be funded."
The Government also it will provide 'reasonable funding' to cover any extra costs from the changes.
Given that current recycling rates in England are just over 44 percent, and have remained around this figure for the last 10 years, hopefully these new changes will increase this figure.
The Government have also previously banned seven everyday items including; single-use plastic cutlery, single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls as well as balloon sticks, polystyrene containers and cups which will also help increase the recycling rate percentage.
Councillor Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), 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 councils and decided not to significantly reduce the flexibilities in how councils collect waste from people’s homes.
"Our national ambitions for waste and recycling will only be achieved by fully empowered local delivery, alongside measures transferring the costs from taxpayers onto the waste producers."