Recycling campaigners victorious at Council meeting

Friends of the Earth today presented the City Council with over 1500 postcards signed by Birmingham residents who are demanding better recycling facilities.

The postcards were being presented to the Councillors from the three largest parties with responsibility for recycling in Birmingham, just prior to a joint meeting of the two council committees responsible for examining Birmingham's recycling policy. The Chair and Sub-Chair (Cllrs Steve Bedser and Tim Huxtable) of the Scrutiny Committee on Sustainability and Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chair of the Scrutiny Committee on Transportation and Street Services received the postcard petition.

Andy Pryke, Campaigns Coordinator at Birmingham Friends of the Earth, was invited to speak about the campaign saying "Recycling has consistently been one of our most popular campaigns with a wide cross-section of the public from every corner of Birmingham. Many people recognise how far behind Birmingham has been and see friends and family in other areas receiving much better services. For a long time, we've been asking for doorstep collections of a full range of materials for every household in the city. We're glad that the council has announced an increase in collections, but we'd like to see the city at the top of the recycling league table and aim much higher than a mere 40% target for recycling by 2026".

The City Council started collections of glass, plastic and metals from 100,000 households this October, and has plans to extend the scheme to cover all non-multi-occupancy households by April 2008. However, this will leave about 10% of the households without a service and flats will not be included.

The postcard reads as follows:

Having heard that:
*Birmingham's total rubbish is 551, 442 tonnes per year and rising[1]
*80% of our rubbish could be reused, recycled or composted[2] but the city only recycles 17%.[1]
*Birmingham is the 323rd in the recycling league table [3]
*Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 60w lightbulb for 6 hours. [4]

I am asking you to:
*Provide doorstep recycling services for every household in Birmingham by 2008.
*Collect these basic materials: paper, cardboard, glass, steel cans, aluminium
cans, green waste and plastics.
*Extend collection to include: oil, electrical goods,batteries, clothing, wood,
kitchen waste within 4 years.

[1] BCC 03/04 tonnage, 05/06 recycling rate