London’s Environment Minister declares
recycling is no longer an optional extra for local councils
London— Environment Minister
Elliot Morley has confirmed that he will be turning the spotlight
on councils with poor records of recycling and composting.
The Minister, speaking March
3 at the Local Government Chronicle’s conference in London
on recycling, confirmed that he will be entering into talks with
local authorities who have struggled to raise recycling and composting
rates over 6 per cent by April 2003.
Defra officials will also be
contacting a number of other authorities whose performance continues
to give cause for concern.
The councils will be expected
to show to the Minister robust evidence of any improvement made,
or their future plans and demonstrate commitment to improvement.
Elliot Morley said: “Recycling
is no longer an optional extra. While most councils are working
incredibly hard to improve their performance there are a few councils
who repeatedly achieve extremely disappointing rates of recycling
and composting. This has got to change and is not acceptable”.
“Defra understands that
local authorities face challenging times to improve their waste
services and adopt more sustainable waste practices. Their role
in making this transition is vital. Which is why I am keen to
offer support, guidance and advice to help ease to help ease that
Morley’s announcement followed
an earlier announcement by Mrs. Beckett several weeks ago that
England was poised to meet its target to recycle or compost 17
per cent of household waste.
She confirmed that recycling
in single figures is now “unacceptable” and that Morley
would be personally engaging with all councils with “poor