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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 02:10 GMT 03:10 UK
Waste mountain 'must be tackled'
Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent
Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent shows how much can be recycled
People are still not doing enough to recycle and reduce the UK's waste mountain, the government has warned.

The week-long nationwide "big recycle" campaign is being launched as new figures released estimate that 60% of all household waste could be recycled.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimate contrasts with only 17.7% of English waste in 2003/2004 being reused.

Environmentalists say local councils must do more to increase the figure.

Green campaigners have been buoyed by the news that, according to Defra, the amount Britons recycle has grown by 11% in the last year.

There is no doubt that it is becoming easier to recycle in the UK and that people are becoming increasingly keen to do so
Ben Bradshaw MP

But they say that, with a target of recycling 30% of waste by 2010, there is more to be done by local authorities, individuals and companies.

Thousands of local schemes, from composting food scraps to recycling paper in schools, have already been set up.

At the campaign launch of the big recycle, now in its second year, Minister for Recycling Ben Bradshaw will call for the launch of more innovative schemes.

"There is no doubt that it is becoming easier to recycle in the UK and that people are becoming increasingly keen to do so," he said.

"However, there is still room for improvement."

'Tougher targets'

But environmentalists have told BBC News the government needs to take more of a lead.

Local councils have done well to meet targets the government have set already but those targets haven't been ambitious by international standards
Martin Williams,
Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth's Martin Williams said the government should set "new and tougher targets" for local councils.

"Local councils have done well to meet targets the government have set already but those targets haven't been ambitious by international standards," he said.

Keith Taylor, of the Green Party, said: "The government can help more by getting more councils towards zero waste strategies.

"It can do this by rolling out more doorstep collections of recyclables nationally.

"They can also increase the number of different products that get collected."

The big recycle will be launched on Friday by four-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Matthew Pinsent.




SEE ALSO:
Recycling around the world
24 Jun 05 |  Europe
Is going green still worthwhile?
19 May 05 |  Science/Nature
Targets 'hamper recycling effort'
13 Oct 04 |  Science/Nature


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