ARCHIVE: Recycling bins in public places
The Government wishes to extend the recycling ‘culture’ from the home and office to public areas like shopping malls, train stations and cinema multiplexes, so that it becomes a natural part of everyday life. We are working with landowners/managers to provide more recycling bins in public places to make it easier for people to recycle away from home.
We want a cleaner, safer local environment and a win for the wider environment: increasing recycling and reducing landfill will save valuable resources and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The provision of recycling bins will help spread the message that recycling is positive and that just because a person is outside their home or workplace doesn’t mean they can’t recycle and behave in a sustainable fashion.
How will Government engage with others to make this happen?
We have worked with owners and managers to draw up Guidance and a Voluntary Code of Practice.
Groups including the Airport Operators Association, the British Council of Shopping Centres, Earls Court and Olympia Group, the Highways Agency and the Local Government Association lend early support for this. In particular, the Royal Parks committed to putting recycling bins in all its parks within 12 months and the Association of Event Venues says its members plan to install recycling bins for waste brought in by audiences at major events.
We committed to preparing the documents by the end of 2007, and we have now completed our consultation on ‘Recycle on the Go,’ in which we published drafts of the ‘Voluntary Code of Practice’ and ‘Good Practice Guide’. These are designed to help organisations make the most of the recycle bins they put in place for public use, and to encourage a consistent approach such as making full use of the signage designed by Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign.
The Government response to the consultation is available:
- Government response and overview of findings (PDF 30 KB)
The final guidance and voluntary code were published on 2 June 2008.
Defra has been working with Encams (Keep Britain Tidy) to carry out research and analysis of recycling in public places, and to develop the guide of good practice and voluntary code of practice.
A questionnaire sent to all English local authorities provided a helpful scene setter. 22% of local authorities responded, and of those 27% are carrying out on-street recycling already. The main reason was to raise awareness and change behaviour. Of those that don’t offer on-street recycling the deterrents were issues with separating materials or access to Materials Recovery Facility plant or associated cost. 10% were about to start a trial or scheme. Paper, cans, glass and plastics were most frequently collected. Most use separate bins for each material collected.
We have chaired discussion groups with interested parties that revealed an appetite for the provision of recycling receptacles where there are currently litter bins. The overwhelming message to Government was that our interested parties would like a guide of good practice, which should include case studies and as much information about siting of bins, colour schemes, and costs as possible. Most important is to set out what should be consistent between schemes (such as colour coding for types of recyclable material). A guide to good practice would not be seen as a burden, but a supportive tool for those that want to recycle.
The informal consultation stage involved a range of owners and managers of relevant land and premises used by the public to encourage them to promote recycling in the street and in public places by, for example, providing recycling bins alongside or as part of any existing bins provision (in appropriate locations), or by harvesting recyclable materials collected in public litter bins.
Page last modified:
6 April 2009
Page published: 24 May 2007