Opinion: Burning issue of recycling

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Are we really rubbish at recycling, or do we just dispose of our waste in a different – but still green – way?

Newly published Government figures would suggest we’re not pulling our weight in Sheffield with just slightly more than 30 per cent of the city’s rubbish being recycled during 2013-14 – the lowest rate across all Yorkshire authorities.

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But that figure may not be telling the whole truth about our efforts.

For instance, Sheffield has one of the lowest landfill rates in Europe, because waste is burned in a city centre incinerator.

However, the energy recovery facility at Bernard Road, which powers homes and city centre buildings, was blamed as one of the reasons recycling is low. It’s not just Sheffield either. Only Barnsley at 51.6 per cent is above the national average of 43 per cent of ‘household waste sent for re-use, recycling or composting’.

Rotherham at 40.9, Doncaster 40.2 and 41.5 in Chesterfield also fall short.

The question is, do we care about recycling?

We know it makes sense, but is there enough of an incentive for people to make the effort?

Most people would consider themselves as ‘green’, but when the figures are laid bare are we really?