Hundreds sign petition calling for recycling system overhaul

Richmondshire District Council recycling boxes.

More than 500 people have signed a petition calling on Richmondshire District Council to rethink the way it handles household recycling.

The petition, started by Richmond resident Maria Ferguson, says the current system of green boxes for glass, plastic and tins, and a bag for cardboard is “not fit for purpose”.

The petition adds: “Every other council has a single wheelie bin that everything goes in.

“The boxes/bag are unsightly, take up space, are too small to fit everything in, and the rubbish ends up blowing all over the place on bin day.

“I’ll bet there are folk (including me as of today) who don’t recycle because the system doesn’t work for them.”

As the petition has got more than 250 signatures, it could now be debated by the authority.

In response to the petition, Colin Dales, the council’s corporate director for operational services, said resident views were always welcome and the council thanked the petitioners for taking am interest in “the important issue of recycling”.

However, he said it wrong to say that ‘every other council has a single wheelie bin’.

He added: “There are different approaches across the country.

“Some Councils do co-mingle (putting all recycling in a single wheelie bin) but others – such as York and Richmondshire – choose to sort the recyclate at the kerbside.

“Whilst it is acknowledged that co-mingling makes it easier for residents to recycle, what also needs to be remembered is that recyclate sorted at the kerbside (“clean” recyclate) has a higher value and generates more income for the council – income which ultimately keeps council costs down.

“So there are a number of factors which need to be considered.”

Mr Dales said recycling was positively encouraged by all councils and to stop recycling because you did not agree with a particular collection system was not a justifiable decision,

“We all need to keep recycling,” he said, adding: “A review of Richmondshire District Council’s waste and recycling strategy is underway via the authority’s scrutiny committee and this review will ultimately determine what our new collection service looks like.

“Co-mingling is an approach which will be considered as part of the review but a big influencing factor is the Government’s emerging National Waste Strategy.

“This strategy is primarily about increasing recycling rates nationally as well as making waste and recycling collection services more consistent and easier to understand across the country – its findings and recommendations will need to be taken into account by all Councils when they are reviewing their collection services.

“So, whilst we will be actively considering all collection options, including co-mingling, we will need to ensure we align with whatever approaches the Government recommends when it concludes its review.”

To view the petition click here.


  1. We will stop recycling when the boxes are half full. We are fed up of picking up the litter that blows out of the boxes. Come on Richmondshire district council get a grip.

  2. What he means to say is – They the council have bought vehicles especially segregated recycling and they were to change it would show they got it wrong and would be stuck with them

  3. It might be worth getting bothered if the waste were, in fact, getting recycled. Unfortunately, it’s mostly getting incinerated or illegally dumped in third world countries.

  4. The material that blows out of the boxes on collection days is a very real problem. I have seen boxes blown onto the road on many occasions before and particularly after being emptied.

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