However, Birmingham City Council believes the cut is mainly due to the recession hitting households, despite also increasing the amount of waste it recycled.

The council has today (July 12) announced a 4.72% drop by weight in waste collected, however in terms of recycling, the city’s rate as a proportion of all waste went up 1.56% to 31.97%.

The latest figures show between 2005/06 and 2009/10, the city’s recycling ratehas almost doubled from 17% to 31.9%

While the share of waste sent to the city’s energy recovery facility in Tyseley has remained stable at roughly 62% in 2009/10, while the share of waste landfilled has fallen from 18.1% to 12.25%

Cabinet member for transportation and regeneration, Timothy Huxtable points out the figures for waste recycled, sent to landfill or used to create energy do not add up to 100% when combined.

He explained this is because the figures are based on different measurements ‘as per government requirements’.

Mr Huxtable said: “Overall waste levels are down and this will be in part due to the gradual trend of retailers using less packaging, but the fact we have seen a significant drop in just twelve months indicates that other factors are also at play.

“The recession has hit Birmingham and the rest of the country hard in the last year, people have been spending less on goods and therefore it is highly likely this is a key cause for waste levels dropping.

“We must and will continue to look at ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and to roll-out services to more people, covering a wider range of waste so that Birmingham continues to be cleaner, greener and more attractive.”

Luke Walsh

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