Scrap & Recycling
Birmingham City Council has revealed that it sent over half of its aluminium abroad to be recycled last year. As per the report, 280 tonnes out of 529 tonnes of aluminium were sent to Germany, while the remaining 249 tonnes were sent to facilities within the United Kingdom.
Glass, plastics and other metals were also sent outside of the city to be recycled, published the Council on a special request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The only recycling collected in Birmingham and processed within the city was paper and cardboard, like happened in the previous three years.
Figures revealed by the Birmingham City Council also indicated that recycling collected by the council had been decreasing over the years. In 2016, 1068 tonnes were collected and 151 tonnes sent to Germany, while in 2017 only 529 tonnes were collected.
Speaking in response to the news, Druid’s Heath and Monyhull councillor Julien Pritchard said: “On balance, it’s better that aluminium is at least being recycled somewhere rather than going to landfill or the incinerator, but what this shows is that national governments have failed to take recycling seriously for years – in Britain we simply haven’t supported and invested in recycling the way we need to.”
She also said, “We’ve been let down by the Government, but Birmingham could still do more – the city has declared a climate emergency, so we know action is urgently needed.”
She further added, “Birmingham needs to work with neighbouring councils across the Midlands and through the West Midlands Combined Authority, to find ways to reduce waste in the first place and to encourage more comprehensive recycling services locally so we don’t continue to dump our waste on other countries. We process recycled paper in Brum, why not other materials?
In return to this, a spokesperson for the council said aluminium recycling had to be sent abroad as the UK did not have smelting capabilities to process the metal itself.