The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has launched an initiative to crackdown on illegal waste dumping, residents who don’t recycle responsibly and dog walkers who don’t pick up their dogs mess.
A report approved by the Council’s Cabinet today February recommended a number of steps to improve the recycling rate of 33%. It includes the introduction of larger recycling sacks, an expansion of weekly recycling services for city centre apartment blocks, piloting weekly recycling, work to repair and upgrade the four foot alleyways serving 28,000 terraced properties and doubling the number of teams tackling flytipping.
Further, Anderson asked for an emphasis on tackling residents who choose not to recycle or manage their waste in a responsible way, or who let their dogs foul the streets.
It was estimated that 21,000 tonnes of recyclable goods are needlessly going to landfill each year because residents are placing it in a purple bin or black sacks rather than the blue recycling bin.
The council noted that every tonne of residual waste from the purple bins costs twice as much to treat as recyclable waste, meaning an additional bill of around £1.2 million per year for council tax payers.
Mayor Anderson said:
“While we have made huge progress on improving recycling over the last few years, responsible citizens are being undermined by some residents who are putting waste in the wrong bin.
“We recently had a case in Old Swan where an entire day’s recycling collections were so contaminated with non-recyclable items that the load was rejected at the recycling plant. Instead, it had to be sent to landfill, doubling the cost of processing and disposing of the waste and hitting council tax payers in the pocket. This example shows how the efforts of all the residents who do the right thing can be undermined by the minority who choose not to.
“We have a challenging recycling target of 55% to hit by 2020 and so we have to think creatively about what we can do. Can we reward those residents that let us know who is flytipping, whose dogs are fouling our streets and or are not recycling properly? Should we look at making it compulsory to recycle? We need to look seriously at these measures and more to encourage and reward civic pride.
“I have asked officers to come up with a series of enforcement measures that we can use to drive the required change in behaviour in those residents that fail to responsibly manage their waste and for the Cabinet member to bring a report setting out in detail the steps we will take to tackle poor waste management and other environmental crime.”
According to the BBC the Mayor went on to add: "I'm asking people [to] please help us [and] provide us with information on anybody you see allowing their dog to foul the streets... [and] provide us with an address where they live.
"When they go out we'll have people covertly watching them and if it leads to prosecution, I will make sure you get your council tax for free, because we'll fine those people the maximum amount of money - £1000."
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