Scilly’s Recycling Rate Is The Worst In The Country

moorwell dump with truckScilly’s household recycling rate fell last year and is now the worst in England.

The latest figures released by Defra show the Council reused just 14% of the waste produced on the islands in 2014/15.

That’s down from 19.5% in the previous year.

It means we’re now bottom of the table, after rising to third worse in the country last year.

The average rate of recycling in England was 44%, with the best local authority, South Oxfordshire District Council, achieving a whopping 67%.

England must reach a 50% EU recycling target by 2020 or face fines.

Last month, the Council received planning permission to build a new recycling shed at the Moorwell waste site, which will be used to process materials before they’re sent to the mainland.

However, they still haven’t announced when kerbside recycling collections will begin on St Mary’s.



9 Responses to Scilly’s Recycling Rate Is The Worst In The Country

  1. Ian December 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

    The biggest issue is shipping, and a lack of space and expertise.

    If we were a hamlet on the mainland, like St Just, then we’d cart it all off to the main site in Cornwall. And there it would get processed.

    Villages don’t have recycling facilities, but WE have to. So, take into consideration not only the capital outlay of a processing site, but also the revenue cost of it being staffed, of regular collections, and the shipping costs, and we’re talking millions. From a council tax base of around 1700 people.

    Now, I’m not saying there hasn’t been mismanagement, because I’m unsure of the capability of that department in terms of experience and aptitude, but there are certainly mitigating circumstances which don’t favour the islands.

  2. Linguine December 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    It is increasingly obvious that faulty inexperienced and weak direction coupled with poor management are wreaking havoc in every sphere of the council’s involvement.
    The council are spending more, employing ever more, outsourcing more the only result is that they are achieving less and eroding the Islands’ credibility in the process.
    The only change the Linguist has managed successfully is to ‘short change’ the community.

  3. disappointed, but not surprised December 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I think part of the problem is the general ‘softly softly’ approach that has been taken so far. The trial that ran in old town would have barely dragged us into the 90’s and didn’t go anywhere near far enough.

    You can see in the faces of visitors that, on hearing that we don’t recycle properly, they feel embarrassed and we should all feel ashamed.

    Personally, i think we should be doing the following as a minimum:

    WEEKLY collection of pre-sorted recycling:
    metals
    plastics
    papers
    compostable waste
    glass

    FORTNIGHTLY:
    black bag/unsorted

    Just because it wont initially suit people doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t learn. Its not uncommon on the mainland, and as others have said, we should be leading the way. There isn’t another county i can think of that is 100% an AONB, or that has a suitably small population.
    Besides, what waste does an average household create that ISN’T covered in the list of weekly recycling pickups if we did the above?

    Somewhere the size of Bristol can manage it, so why cant we:
    https://www.bristol.gov.uk/bins-recycling/bins-and-recycling-collection-dates

    Weekly, they do the following TWO collections:
    https://www.bristol.gov.uk/bins-recycling/black-recycling-box
    https://www.bristol.gov.uk/bins-recycling/green-recycling-box

    Its just a lack of guts by councillors and officers alike

  4. Leo Taser December 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Clearly there is a long way to go until this is ‘top performing’, however since the council has set itself a target to reach 50% recycling by 2018, presumably there are bigs plans afoot. Maybe one day they will proactively share them with us, or must we beat everything out of the town hall with FOI requests?

  5. sue December 2, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    How can someone blame the individuals when there is no infrastructure to cater for recycling. Householders would willingly sort their waste and recycle but the provisions aren’t there.

    • Snake Pliskin2 December 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      I completely agree Sue. If you have no car and not necessarily ablebodied then how can you be expected to take recyclable waste to the dump. Prime example is no bottle or can bank in Old Town meaning you have to carry them all into town or even telegraph! If there was a collection once a fortnight I am sure everyone would buy into the idea of recycling.

  6. Charlie Burn December 2, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    This is a shame if it’s true. Clearly there are geographical challenges to arranging this on these beautiful islands. We saw a lot of plastic on certain beaches when we visited, which was sad. Of course, that might have floated in from anywhere. We picked up what we could carry, but would have needed a bin liner or more to do the job properly. Really, it could be a selling point if you could say that you recycle MORE than the average council – who wouldn’t want to visit or live somewhere that cares MORE than other place?. Tourists must generate a lot of revenue; perhaps this money can be used to generate better awareness/ collection systems?

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins December 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Yes the tourists do generate a lot of the revenue but they also generate an equivalent proportion of the waste. No rubbish that I am aware of is dumped in the sea intentionally. There are a lot of calls on the tourists pennies, there is what they pay to get here, there is the extra that their food costs to import , there is the extra that their accommodation costs to furnish and then there is the extra it costs to ship it all out again not to mention the extra effort! Then there is the fact that the revenue isn’t evenly distributed which often leaves those creating the most waste paying for its removal with the smallest share of the revenue and the largest amount of labour. It really is a shame yes, but what do you do?

  7. Wasted December 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    The ultimate responsibility for recycling lies with individuals, not local authorities who can’t help what is literally dumped on them. My neighbours borrow my bins and can’t even fill them properly or responsibly – i.e. simply sticking their rubbish in a bin liner. The attitude of so many people towards waste disposal is shocking.