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Labour leader accuses Conservatives of “going backwards”

The recycling record of Lichfield District Council has been criticised by the leader of the Labour opposition group.

Cllr Steve Norman tabled a question after claiming the rate of recycling had dropped across Lichfield and Burntwood in the past six years.

In his question to Cllr Liz Little, the cabinet member responsible for recycling, the Labour representative said not only had their been a dip, but the rate was also below other areas.

Steve Norman

“The recycling rate in Lichfield District has fallen from a peak of 58.1% in 2013/14 to 45% in 2018/19. Why is that?

“The cabinet member claimed that it was 47.81% but that compares with Staffordshire Moorlands rate of 56% and South Staffordshire’s 50.10%.  In any case the official figures from the government for Lichfield district is indeed 45%.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

Councillor Norman was responsible for the introduction of kerbside recycling collections when he was chairman of the environmental and health services group at the then Labour-controlled Lichfield District in 1995.

He said:

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“We inherited a recycling rate of just 0.02% and managed to get it up to the then Government’s target of 25% four years later – now the Conservatives seem to be heading backwards.

“Staffordshire Moorlands is the best in the county now and accepts food waste in their bins – and do not charge residents for the green waste collected.”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

“Above the national average”

Cllr Little said the council was performing well – but admitted their was always more that could be done.

“With a recycling rate of almost 48%, we are above the national average of 45.3%.

“However, we always strive to do more, from educating our residents about what can and can’t go in their blue bins through our Waste Less campaign, to encouraging more households to sign up to our garden waste service.

“Our recycling rate has fallen recently, as we have stopped recycling food waste and since we launched the garden waste subscription service.

“The majority of households have kept up with their brown bin collections, which is helping us to maintain our waste and recycling service against a backdrop of cuts to our funding from government.

“There are a number of government proposals to boost recycling rates across the UK, including food waste collections and a deposit return scheme for drink bottles.

“We look forward to finding out more about these schemes and how they can help our residents to recycle more.”

Cllr Liz Little

The council has also launched recent campaigns in a bid to prevent blue bins being contaminated with non-recyclable items.

“It’s really important that everyone takes some time to make sure they are recycling all they can and in the right way.

“We do not empty blue bins that have contaminated waste in them, such as dirty food containers, black bin bags, nappies, animal bedding and textiles.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

7 replies on “Council criticised over falling recycling rates across Lichfield and Burntwood”

  1. So the council think I should waste fuel (metered) and water (metered) to wash out tins and food trays. Prefer to put it in the black bin than waste my money. Hard enough living on a state pension.

  2. It’s not hard to rinse out containers, they don’t need to be perfect. Do it in the old washing up water after washing your pots and pans. On the other hand you could just think stuff the planet if you want to be grumpy about it!

  3. I’m disabled have arthritis and carpal tunnel and tendinitis in both my hands, so it’s impossible for me to wash the recycling out. I don’t think it’s environmentally friendly when you have to wash your tins and jars out, with having to heat the water to wash them out…
    How come most of British waste ends up in India, that’s not very environmentally friendly is it…

  4. A lot of the items classed as recycled are never actually recycled.

    The council passes the waste to a third party and gets a certificate to say it will be recycled.

    It’s the shipped thousands of miles to sit in another country. Stored, burnt, put in landfill or lost in transportation.

    It’s a system that is being totally abused.

  5. Rubbish is rubbish. Waste is waste. Looking at the comments am happy to say that they’re are plenty of people talking it. Even the overpaid councillors who are just as bad in their roles …. rubbish

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