Saturday, June 5, 2004

Press Release: Sheffield Friends of the Earth call for better recycling in Sheffield

Press Release

For immediate release
Sheffield Friends of the Earth call for better recycling in Sheffield

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY [Saturday 5th June, 12 noon – 2pm, The Moor]

To mark World Environment Day on Saturday 5th June, Sheffield Friends of the Earth will be inviting the public to send a message to Sheffield City Council asking them to follow the lead of other councils and expand the city’s doorstep recycling collections. The environmental group has also invited candidates for the local election to the stall on the Moor so they can pledge their support for a better recycling service.

The UK currently languishes near the very bottom of the European recycling league table [1] - recycling just 12 per cent of the waste produced. Research has shown that doorstep collection of materials is the most effective way to increase a local authority’s recycling rates [2].

Sheffield Friends of the Earth is urging Sheffield City Council to follow Friends of the Earth's `best practice' code [3] to improve the collection service offered to householders and increase the number of households recycling. Measures include collecting a wider range of materials on a weekly basis, the provision of better information to householders and providing bins that are easy to store.

Sheffield Friends of the Earth campaigner Shaun Rumbelow said:

"Although we congratulate Sheffield City Council and Onyx for starting a doorstep recycling service, there is still a long way to go to improve doorstep recycling facilities. If we are going to tackle the huge mountain of waste that we produce and start to use products and materials in the most environmentally friendly way possible we need to be recycling and composting much more of our rubbish. Lots of other authorities around the country provide excellent recycling schemes. Our council needs to follow their example so that we have a recycling record that we can all be proud of.”

Research by Friend of the Earth shows that Sheffield only manages to recycle paper and card, whereas our neighbours living in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham are able to recycle four or more materials [4].

Shaun Rumbelow continued,

“Judging by the number of Sheffield folk using their blue bins, it’s clear that people are saying no to incineration and landfill and yes to recycling. We call on Sheffield City Council to step up its recycling efforts so we aren’t left behind our neighbours”



Recycling rates from 2000
Austria 55%, Belgium 39%, Denmark 38%, Finland 26%, France 21%, Germany 45%, Greece 9%, Ireland 12%, Italy 16%, Luxembourg 34%, Netherlands 48%, Portugal 4%, Spain 30%, Sweden 29%, United Kingdom* 11%

*The UK rate is now estimated to be about 12 per cent.
Source publication: e-Digest of Environmental Statistics, Published September 2003

[2] “Maximising recycling: Tackling Residuals” – a report for the Community Recycling Network – available at

[3] Friends of the Earth’s best practice code for a doorstep recycling scheme includes the following features :

1. Weekly collection
2. Collection of recycling and residual waste on the same day of the week
3. Wide range of materials collected
4. Good customer care including regular information
5. Provision of an easily storable container
6. Collection of separated rather than commingled recyclables

[4] Yorkshire & Humber Doorstep Recycling data available at:


Steve Goodacre               07890 374154 (any time)
Liddy Goyder                0114 222 0783 (day time)

Sheffield FoE Website
National FoE Website        

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