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Councillors to consider plan to boost recycling and cut carbon emissions

Cabinet councillors at Eastbourne Borough Council will consider changing to alternate weekly collections to boost recycling and reduce carbon emissions.

The government recycling target for local authorities in 2020 was 50%, the current rate in Eastbourne is 35% - evidence shows that in many towns where councils collect on an alternate weekly basis - one week refuse, one week recycling - residents recycle more of their household rubbish.

Having declared a climate emergency and committed to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, the council also wants to reduce the emissions from bin lorry journeys around the town and improve air quality.

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Chair of South East Environmental Services Limited (SEESL), the company that delivers Environment First on the council’s behalf, said:

“We’ve completed one of the most extensive consultation exercises ever undertaken in Eastbourne, asking residents for their views about waste and recycling and that feedback has been invaluable in shaping the plans being considered.

“The council is determined to increase recycling and by looking at other local authorities, including our close neighbours in Wealden, there is clear evidence that fortnightly collections will encourage people to take a more active role in recycling.”

With pressures on every council budget in the UK as a consequence of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, a potential change to alternate weekly collections will also save over £200,000 a year in Eastbourne.  

Councillor Colin Swansborough, Cabinet Member for Place Services, added: 

“Any change in the way our refuse and recycling service is delivered would not begin before April, allowing us plenty of time to share information with our residents about how it would be organised.

“It is clear that we must increase recycling in Eastbourne and if we can reduce carbon emissions at the same time, and save money, this is an opportunity that I know many people will not want to miss.”

Councillors will consider the findings of the consultation and proposals for alternate weekly collections on February 10.