Shropshire Star

Shropshire 'produces more household waste than any other mainland council'

Shropshire households are producing more rubbish than any other area in mainland England, according to Shropshire Green Party councillors.

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Shropshire households are producing more rubbish than any other area in mainland England, according to Shropshire Green Party councillors

Plans to reduce the amount thrown away in the county took a step forward after Shropshire Council agreed to look into developing a ‘waste minimisation strategy’ following a motion adopted at the full council meeting on Thursday.

Councillors say the authority used to be in the ‘Premier League’ for household waste and recycling rates, but the lack of a strategy has lead to a decline in performance.

“In the last five years alone the recycling rate has declined every single year, in spite of the fact that we’ve offered a new wheeled bin for recycling. That hasn’t stopped the decline in our recycling performance,” said Duncan Kerr, councillor for Oswestry South.

“We have climbed to the top of one league table and remain the champions of that for three years – since 2020 we have produced more household waste than any other mainland council in England per household.”

Plans for the strategy were first mooted in 2021, but were voted down by councillors amid fears they could lead to the introduction of charges for removing household green waste.

The council last had a formal waste strategy in 2012.

Now councillors and officers will work on a plan to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, before reporting back to the council next year.

“The old strategy wasn’t perfect but it did lead to a period when Shropshire Council was in the ‘Premier League’, the top 10 for recycling, Since then our recycling performance has consistently declined,” added Councillor Kerr.

“We have all the powers we need to reduce the contribution of household waste to global warming. We can’t lay the blame at someone else's door.”

Conservative councillor Ian Nellins told the meeting that many of the initiatives and areas of focus that came out of the previous strategy are still going.

He added that the council was performing above its targets for waste and recycling.

“A waste minimisation plan was written in 2019 for use internally and the waste team continue to work to that,” he said.

“In 21/22 Shropshire Council was ranked 12th highest performing unitary council out of 62.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Roger Evans welcomed the motion, but said he would not agree to any plans which involved charging for green waste.

“Just to make it plain, we would not agree to charging for the green waste bins. That may come forward, we don’t know, but this is about a waste minimisation policy which we can support and we’ll wait to see what that is.”

The motion was supported at full council, with a deadline for adoption of a strategy set for September 2024.