Sheffield Council ‘not ambitious enough’ on recycling

Laura Gordon and councillor Shaffaq Mohammed
Laura Gordon and councillor Shaffaq Mohammed

An opposition councillor has hit out at Sheffield City Council for ‘missing an opportunity’ to improve the bin service in the city.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the council had not been  ‘ambitious enough’ with recycling on their new service. 

He said: “I think it’s been a missed opportunity, I think they’ve had the opportunity to provide a larger bin, so more items can be recycled and instead they’ve just not been ambitious at all.

“It’s just been business as usual, but unfortunately business as usual isn’t good enough when we’ve got a reputation as a green city.”

The new bin service, which cost the council around £2 million, was phased in two staged between August and October last year.

The changes meant blue bins, which are now used to recycle paper and cardboard, and brown bins, for glass and plastic bottles, were now collected once a month alternating with black bin collections.

This has lead to a numer of complaints from residents who say the recycling bins become full too quickly.

Shaffaq added: “Everyone in the city gets exactly the same but people have different types of houses, different numbers of people living in individual houses, for some people this might work but there are people who are unhappy about the size of the blue bin itself.

“If you’re moved to a monthly collection, you’re halving the collection rate, but you still keep the same containers, that means you’re actually getting a lesser service.”

“In Yorkshire, I think we (Sheffield) are the worst for recycling.”

According to statistics from www.letsrecycle.com, Sheffield Council is ranked 314 out of 350 local authorities based on its recycling.

The figures from 2016/17 show that Sheffield sends only 29.6% of its household waste for reuse, recycling and composting, compared to Doncaster (47.0%), Chesterfield (46.0%) and Leeds (37.9%).

Coun Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for environment and streetscene said: “The introduction of the blue and brown bin recycling service has made it easier for residents to recycle and, thanks to the increased collection efficiency of the new service has meant that we are saving the city £750,000 a year.

“We recognise that some households may have more waste to recycle and in the next few months those households will be able to request additional recycling capacity for both paper, card, glass, cans and plastic bottles.

“We will provide more information once this service is available.”