Recession reduces waste levels in city

By on 12/07/2010 in News

The recession has been cited as one of the likely reasons why almost five per cent less household waste was generated in Birmingham during 2009/10 than the year before.

A 4.72 per cent drop by weight was recorded in waste collected by Birmingham City Council. However in terms of recycling, the city's rate as a proportion of all waste went up 1.56 per cent to 31.97 per cent at a time when recycling rates in many other local authorities fell.

Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, said: “The latest figures we have produced show some very significant and interesting patterns.

“Overall waste levels are down and this will be in part due to the gradual trend of retailers using less packaging, but the fact we have seen a significant drop in just twelve months indicates that other factors are also at play.

“The recession has hit Birmingham and the rest of the country hard in the last year. People have been spending less on goods and therefore it is highly likely that this is a key cause for waste levels dropping.

“This fall in waste tonnage is actually a good thing for Birmingham’s citizens in several respects.

“The council saves having to pay as much in costs associated with waste landfill and disposal and the money that is saved can be pumped into better recycling facilities.”

“We have made great strides over the last few years, both in terms of the share of refuse that we have prevented going to landfill and the actual quality of recycling services provided for residents.

“We must and will continue to look at ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and to roll-out services to more people, covering a wider range of waste so that Birmingham continues to be cleaner, greener and more attractive.”


Notes to editors

1. Latest figures for Birmingham City Council show that between 2005/06 and 2009/10:

- the city's recycling rate (as a share of all collected waste) has almost doubled from 17.02 per cent to 31.97 per cent
- the share of waste that is sent to the city's Energy Recovery Facility in Tyseley has remained stable at roughly 60 per cent (62.09 per cent in 2009/10)
- the share of waste landfilled has been cut from 18.1 per cent to 12.25 per cent)

2. The figures for waste that is recycled, sent to landfill or used to create energy do not add up to 100 per cent when combined. This is because the figures are based on different denominators (measurements) as per the Government's requirements. They do, however, act as the recognised way of monitoring waste management performance

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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  1. Pete Miles says:

    I think it’s great that this is happening! We need to learn from this, and keep on diverting more and more from the landfill!