Residents will know that new recycling bins are currently being rolled out in Sheffield this autumn. We are getting more bins but fewer collections, and no overall change to what can and can’t be recycled. Some households will have trouble finding space for another bin. It’s hard to see how the council thinks this will help us to recycle more.

Sheffield has one of the worst recycling rates in the country. It’s not surprising when you realise that other councils will recycle yoghurt pots and many other plastics, as well as taking food and garden waste for compost. Meanwhile the council here have to feed the incinerator as part of an inflexible contract we are stuck with until 2036. So they burn recyclable plastics to increase the private profits of Veolia.

We’ve seen the unpleasant impact private contracts have on public services, nationally in the NHS, and locally with street trees (Amey) and maintenance of council housing (Kier). Our waste and recycling is no different. Decisions made on the basis of private profit alone are not good for us, or for the environment. Will Sheffield City Council consider bringing these contracts back into democratic control?

Liam Hardy,
Sheffield Green Party


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