Michael Gove talks up weekly food bin collections in major recycling overhaul

Posted On: 
18th February 2019

Councils could be forced to collect food waste bins every week under fresh plans to overhaul Britain's record on rubbish outlined by the Environment Secretary.

Michael Gove wants councils to collect household food waste every week.
PA Images

Michael Gove has launched a new consultation looking at separate weekly food waste collections for every household in England and Wales - with the Government also looking into free garden waste collections as part of plans to ensure "more reliable services for householders".

The proposals form part of a fresh 12-week consultation on a wider shake-up of Britain's waste system.

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The Environment Secretary has also promised to look into plans to make packaging producers pay the full cost of processing their waste - up from the current ten percent.

Meanwhile a deposit return scheme for cans and bottles could see shoppers refunded a proportion of the costs if they return packaging to recycling facilities.

Officials estimate that such a scheme - which is already in force in countries including Sweden and Germany - could save some three billion bottles from incineration.

Unveiling the new consultation, Mr Gove said the Government was "committed to going further and faster to reduce, reuse, recycle and cut waste".

He added: "That’s why we are leading the way to move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society and drive up domestic recycling.

"Through our plans we will introduce a world-leading tax to boost recycled content in plastic packaging, make producers foot the bill for handling their packaging waste, and end the confusion over household recycling.

"We are committed to cementing our place as a world leader in resource efficiency, so we can be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it."

The changes thrashed out during the consultation will form part of the Government's Environment Bill, which the department has said will be introduced "early in the second session of Parliament".

But Mr Gove has already come under fire from the Liberal Democrats for launching another consultation.

The party's environment spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: "If the Conservative Government was as good at recycling plastic as they are at recycling consultations then our environment would be in better shape than it is.

"It is good that the Government is thinking of acting, but the problem is urgent and needs to be taken seriously."