IN December 2015, the European Commission proposed a common European Union target of 63 per cent of municipal waste being recycled by 2020, forcing councils to drastically boost the recycling in their district.
Despite UK recycling rates rising 0.8 per cent between 2013 and 2014 they are still falling short of the current target set by the EU of 50 per cent.
At the beginning of 2016 it was announced that household waste in the UK rose by 60 per cent despite UK councils encouraging their districts to recycle more.
Salford’s recycling rates through the end of 2015 into the beginning of 2016 did not noticeably fluctuate but instead stayed at an average amount per household, which the council have tried to boost following new proposed targets.
As a result of the slow progress the recycling rates in Salford had been making, compared to other neighbouring cities to Manchester, the City Council introduced a new ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme to give the residents of Salford a new incentive to recycle the waste from their households.
Each month, via the Salford City Council website, residents of Salford are able to vote for a cause or organisation in their area which deserves a £1,000 grant that is awarded by the council if recycling in the area increases.
Bridgewater Salford Amateur Boxing Club used the grant they received in December 2015 to purchase a range of new gloves for those that used the boxing centre to train.
The gloves purchased by the club are used in sparring and competing which was a huge gift for those training.
“If we had not received the funding it would have been a long time before we could have provided the boxers (aged 6 – 40) with new gloves,” head coach Lee Whitehead said.
MAPPED: Who the ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme has helped so far
Friends of Ordsall Parks, a community run organisation started in 2007, with the aim to “to make Monmouth Park and Ordsall Park some of the best green spaces for everyone to enjoy in Salford”.
The organisation received £1,000 worth of funding from Salford City Council after the increase of recycling in the local area.
“The reward and recycling scheme will be helping the Friends Of Ordsall Parks Group in raising funding to pay for some new planned facilities in Monmouth Park.
“This will provide a better environment in one of our local parks for the community and local residents to benefit from.
“The Recycle and Reward scheme helps raise awareness of the benefit of recycling and does this through providing incentives for the local community to get involved and recycle more,” Dave Jay, Chairman of Friends of Ordsall Parks, said.
Although the scheme has only recently been launched and is still finding its feet in the district the number of organisations that benefit from it indicates that it is encouraging an increase of recycling in Salford.
It has helped to localise the national issue of recycling that currently faces the UK – with the difficulty of reaching new targets becoming more and more apparent.
TIMELINE: History of recycling
However, many residents feel as though recycling is encouraged but then not acted upon by the services that the council is obligated to provide.
“The recycling bins are often not collected on the allocated days and are also rejected with little reasoning sometimes,” one Salford resident said.
“It means that in our household we have a big backlog of recycling that we really shouldn’t have.
“This has lead to us being apathetic towards separating our rubbish and we just try and get as much into the black general waste bin in order to relieve our house of waste.”
Although recycling has always been promoted across the country many still feel the message is repetitive and believe they are getting little benefit from what they do in terms of separating and recycling waste.
The ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme has provided a way for residents to see how their recycling can make a difference in their community and make improvements to their surrounding area, with parks such as Ordsall and Buile Hill benefiting from major improvements.
“I wasn’t aware that the scheme was in place, now I am it certainly makes me want to do my bit for the community by recycling.
“I think the council definitely need to make people more aware that this scheme is in place,” one Salford resident said.
In 2014 the UK was recycling 44.9 per cent of waste from households which was an increase from 2010 when it was just at 40.4 per cent.
The current target, of reaching 50 per cent of household waste being recycled by 2020, is obtainable with schemes such as ‘Recycle and Reward’ being put into place.
To apply for funding from the scheme, vote for a cause who you believe deserves it and more information on what and how you can recycle you can visit the Salford City Council website.
By Molly Smith