Fresh drive to up recycling rate

A series of measures to further drive up recycling rates in Liverpool are set to be introduced over the next six months.

The city is on target to recycle a record 33 percent of its waste in 2016/17 – up 10 percent on last year, but an analysis carried out by Merseyside Waste Recycling Authority (MWRA) shows that 21,000 tonnes of recyclable goods are needlessly going to landfill each year because residents are placing it in their purple bin or black sacks rather than the blue recycling bin.

The improvements will see the introduction of larger 90 litre reusable sacks to replace 55 litre recycling boxes for 28,000 terraced homes, following a successful pilot in County ward which drove up the amount collected by 20 percent.

Work will also get underway to repair and upgrade the four foot alleyways serving 28,000 terraced properties which have broken paving and damaged sewers. In addition to this, residents will be given better capacity to store and present their recycling to avoid attracting vermin.

The number of mobile teams tackling flytipping is being doubled from two to four, with more emphasis on finding and fining those responsible – particularly builders and businesses illegally dumping trade waste.

In addition, there will also be:

• An expansion of weekly recycling services to cover all 5,500 city centre apartment blocks – increasing the amount of recyclable waste collected by 114 tonnes per year
• A pilot of weekly recycling in some areas with terraced properties
• An education programme in primary schools to promote the importance of recycling

WATCH: Explainer video about which items go in which bin

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are the only big city to be still increasing our recycling rate, but we recognise that we started from a lower base. One reason for this is the high proportion of terraced properties in Liverpool, which we know from other cities always have lower recycling rates. That’s why a big part of our next campaign is to look at ways of driving up recycling in those streets.

“What we are going to be doing over the next year is increasing our recycling collections where we think it will make a difference, educating people about which bin to use, improving our response to flytipping and taking action against those that dump in our city.

“We know there are still large numbers of residents that are putting recyclable items in their purple bin or are wrongly putting plastic bags in their blue bins, so we need to do more to clearly explain the do’s and don’ts.

“I get many complaints from residents living in terraced properties about the condition of their alleyways which is why we are launching a major improvement drive in the spring which will see us replacing paving and carrying out other environmental improvements, as well as giving them better facilities to present their rubbish.”

The city council is also looking at introducing a kitchen waste collection service for left-over food by creating a local treatment facility that could also generate electricity and gas.

A report recommending the implementation of the changes will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 17 February 2017.


33 – percentage of waste recycled in Liverpool (2016/17)
18,000 – tonnes of green waste collected (2016/17)
21,000 – tonnes of recyclable items wrongly placed in the purple bin every year
28,000 – houses receiving a weekly black sack collection
196,000 – houses receiving an alternate weekly collection of purple/blue bins


Liverpool Waterfront