Cabinet councillors last night (Wed, 16th Sep) agreed to launch a 12-week consultation on ways to improve Eastbourne's recycling performance. The town's recycling rate for household waste has stagnated - at 35.2% for 2018/19 and provisionally expected to be 34.88% for 2019/20 - while the national target this year is 50%, increasing to 65% by 2035.
The consultation is to help the council understand the barriers to residents recycling more.
Alongside the consultation, Environment First will also look at potential changes to the collection service which, if adopted, would help reduce carbon emissions in Eastbourne as well as help address the financial pressure on the council, which has a deficit of £8 million this financial year as a result of Covid-19.
Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet member for Climate Change, said: "Our recycling rate has come to a standstill as some people are still putting items that could be recycled into their black bin.
"We have to act now to change these habits for good to reduce waste, save energy and in turn, tackle climate change."
The majority of local authorities across the UK have already moved to alternate weekly collections - one week waste, the next week recycling - or in some cases to three or four weekly collections of refuse.
This has resulted in greater efficiency of collection rounds and influenced residents' behaviour in how they sort their waste, with more recyclables being put inside green bins.
Councillor Dow added: "We are considering changes to the waste and recycling service, to reduce the number of collection rounds which would contribute to our carbon reduction programme for Eastbourne.
"We would like to know how the changes would affect you and encourage as many people as possible to take part in our consultation."
Residents can sign-up to the council's consultation mailing list to be notified when the consultation goes live via lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/news-room/keep-me-posted/
The consultation will launch on Monday 28 September and be available via the council website at lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/wasteconsultation