Proposals to standardise recycling collections have been welcomed by Westmorland and Furness Council.

Government set out last week (9 May) more information about its intention to drive ‘simpler’ recycling collections, that will see the same materials collected from homes, workplaces and schools.

This would standardise services in all areas, ending what Government describe as a ‘confusing patchwork’ of different approaches across England.

Westmorland and Furness Council Cabinet member for Climate, Biodiversity and Environmental Services, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “We fully support this initiative and we are already working towards the principles of simpler recycling through our own harmonisation programme.

“When the new council was formed by local government reorganisation last year it inherited waste and recycling services from the three legacy councils in Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland, each with different approaches to collections.

“This means there are still differences between the three areas in collection frequencies, types of containers used and whether certain collections are subject to a separate charge.

“We understand residents’ frustrations that services differ between the three different areas. We share those frustrations and are committed to harmonising the services.

“We have made this harmonisation of waste and recycling services a priority for the new council and work is already under way to consider the challenges, practicalities and impacts of the various options that need to be considered.

“At the heart of this is our intention to improve recycling options and make it easier and simpler for our communities to recycle, which aligns with the Government’s proposals and contributes to our ambition to ensure Westmorland and Furness becomes carbon net zero by 2037.’’

Simpler Recycling reforms were first announced in October 2023, when Government set out its expectations that, from 31 March 2026, councils would be required to collect a standardised list of materials from the kerbside, including aluminium and steel cans, plastic containers, paper and card, glass bottles and jars, Tetrapak cartons and garden waste, which Government say may be a charged service.

Recycling Minister Robbie Moore also confirmed last week that councils will be allowed to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper and card in one bin in all circumstances. Similarly, food and garden waste will also be allowed to be co-collected.