A new report from Which? criticises many local councils for failing to provide adequate recycling doorstep collections and points out just how far we are behind other European countries with our recycling rates.
Making it as easy as possible for people to recycle their waste is really important - it needs to become a habit rather than a novelty - at work, at school and in the home. We're not sure though that just providing an efficient service on the doorstep will create that habit. Often more intensive approaches are needed to spread the recycling message around neighbourhoods.
When doorstep recycling first came to my street, an elderly neighbour was heard to say that "it's all a plot. They want to sack the bin men. It's all about putting people out of work". Conspiracy theories aside, many people still don't get why they should put the effort in. Recycling rates differ widely between different neighbourhoods in each local authority area.
Groundwork has been developing a number of approaches to encouraging recycling - by training community champions for example in Manchester. In Oldham, we're developing an initiative that will work with young people to encourage recycling amongst their peer group and families. Sometimes pressure from a neighbour of friend will work better than government or council exhortations.
Recycling kitchen waste is the next step forward - something we're already doing in Burnley as part of the Offshoots project. It's being developed as as a social enterprise with money used from commercial activities (such as collecting food waste from conference venues) subsidising the high cost of doorstep collections on some of Burnley's most disadvantaged estates.