Englands county recycling rates confirm that Shropshire is in the top fifty counties. In 2019/2020 54.6 percent of Shropshire’s waste was recycled. Landfill of domestic waste has reduced from 13 percent of waste to 2 percent since 2014/2015, but the overall recycling rate for the county has not improved over the last five years. Other areas are catching up and overtaking, whilst Shropshire has plateaued.

Ludlow North Councillor Andy Boddington says it could and should do better, but the council has become complacent.

Unlike neighbouring Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire council don’t provide wheelie bins for mixed recycling. “Our household collection system is not efficient.” “We should cut out a stage and give households a wheelie bin for dry recyclables, metals and plastic as other councils do”. stated Mr Boddington.

Comparing similar rural areas across the country, the councillor used examples to show what Shropshire could be achieving if they acted now.

“South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts, both rural areas, recycle 63 to 64 percent of their waste.

“Why can’t we do the same? Or better still, do better.

Councillor Andy Boddington (Image: Shropshire Council)

“The way recycling operates in Shropshire can and must be improved. Shropshire Council should set a target of being in the top ten of councils for recycling by 2026. We should aim for a minimum of two-thirds of our waste being recycled within five years.

“The complacency over recycling at Shropshire Council means it has no ambitions to ramp up recycling and to reduce its reliance over incineration. There are five steps we can take to recycling heaven.”

Mr Boddington is calling for a five point plan of action to get recycling levels increasing again.

He wants to see: good recycling neighbourhoods, with recycling champions and an award scheme, replacement of lidless tubs for glass, plastic and metals with wheelie bins, more effective bags to prevent card and paper getting wet, the return of recycling banks and recycling included in an environment portfolio on the cabinet of Shropshire Council.

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot