COUNCIL bosses stress work is being done to improve recycling rates.

Last year, Ribble Valley Council sent only 30 per cent of collected waste for reuse, recycling or composting.

The council’s director of community services, John Heap, said a contributing factor to the low recycling rate was caused by a refuse collection vehicle being out of service for three months.

Mr Heap said this had to be replaced by a single bodied hire vehicle thus resulting in a drop in green collection of 250 tonnes in July, August & September, and blue collection of 100 tonnes.

This contributed to a drop in the recycling rate for this quarter of 3.3%

But recycling rates in the borough jumped up by 5.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2019/20 after workers were instructed to empty blue/green bins into the recycling side of the Refuse Collection Vehicle, where in the past they have inspected and rejected any bins which are contaminated into the residual side.

There are now increased sorting facilities at the recycling plant to deal with higher levels of contamination.

Mr Heap said: "The amount of household waste being sent to landfill is rising at a rapid rate of 3 per cent per year.

"The cost of landfill to Lancashire County Council was £47m in 2016/17 and estimated to rise to £75m in 2024/25.

"Recycling rates have dropped over the last few years, and in Lancashire we recycle less than half of our waste (45.7 per cent).

"The aim of the pots, tubs and trays campaign across the county is therefore to reduce bin bag waste, increase recycling by collecting more plastic and processing operations extracting more plastic at the recycling plant.

"The objective of the campaign is to recycle 27,000 tonnes of plastic pots, tubs trays as well as plastic bottles from October 2019 to October 2020

"Recycling is known to be highest amongst those over 45 years, more affluent groups and home owners. The 50 per cent of households who are recycling but could be more effective are broadly younger families and these are the target audience for this campaign.

"On a trial basis we have now started to collect trade paper and cardboard - previously expressly prohibited by LCC - by using the household paper and card crews for town centres rather than the Garwood.

"Where possible they collect any trade paper and card outside town centres as they are passing.

"All trade must have paid stickers attached because we are obliged to charge for commercial waste collections.

"The intention is to keep trade prices consistent across the service."