Kerbside glass collections won’t return for Kirklees households in 2024 – and may not happen for several years.
Public consultation in 2021 showed a huge demand for the return of glass collections but financial pressures and Government uncertainty over funding for recycling has meant an indefinite delay.
Last November Kirklees Council started a six-month trial covering around 1,400 homes across the district to find out how best glass could be collected.
However, plans to roll out glass collections to all homes won’t now happen in 2024 or 2025.
The Government is planning new recycling legislation around ‘collection consistency’ to ensure that all local authorities collect the same type of waste on people’s doorsteps.
West Yorkshire councils vary in what they collect. Some collect glass, food waste and garden refuse free of charge. Kirklees stopped glass collections in 2013 to save money, doesn’t collect food waste and charges residents separately for a brown garden waste bin.
A meeting of the council’s Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Panel was told that Kirklees Council has a poor recycling rate of around 26% compared to a national average of 43%.
Glass collections, though popular with the public, would probably only improve recycling rates by 3% or 4% – and would cost £7 million a year to run.
The real “game-changer” for recycling would be food waste collection as that makes up 40% of bin waste in Kirklees. Some residents also dump food waste in their recycling bins, contaminating whole loads which have to go to landfill instead.
Food waste collection, however, would require investment of tens of millions of pounds and would need Government funding.
In 2021 Kirklees Council carried out a survey asking the public what they wanted from its waste collection service.
More than 7,000 residents completed the survey – the biggest ever response received by the council for such a consultation – and the return of glass collections was top followed by food waste and plastics.
Clr Yusra Hussain, Cabinet member for culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “Glass recycling collections for every household in Kirklees is a big ambition for the council.
“We learned a lot from the trial we ran earlier this year in parts of the district about how we could roll the service out to households across the whole of Kirklees. But before we can do that, we need to wait for the Government to decide its national policy and funding for the future.
“We were expected to get the go-ahead this year but, unfortunately, their decision has been delayed until 2025. As soon as we get a definitive answer, we’re ready to press ahead.
“In the meantime, we are reviewing bottle banks across Kirklees with a view to increasing the number of sites to make it even easier for residents to do their bit for the environment.”