New EU rules could mean more recycling bins for UK homeowners

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Do you need another recycling box? Possibly not. While many households already have several bins - recycling, garden waste, etc - new EU rules may force more more recycling bins on UK consumers. 'Co-mingling' recycling bins are widespread across the UK.

Unfortunately there's a lot of cross-contamination. What does the Brussels move mean for you?

More bin clutter?

Possibly more front yard clutter. Bring on, specifically, the EU's revised Waste Framework Directive, landing 1 January 2015. Paper, metal, glass and plastic will all need to be collected separately.

That's four extra recycling boxes straightaway - and that doesn't include the kitchen compost slop box. Quoted in the Telegraph, spokesperson for the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, Doretta Cocks, doesn't give the move much of a welcome.

"Contamination has been a long standing problem since fortnightly residual waste collections were introduced. There is a need for higher quality recyclate but the system must be easy to use for residents.

She added: "Multiple plastic crates for individual sorting of materials will create a storage problem for many residents."

To say the least. What do you do if you have a small one-bedroom flat on the top floor of a tower block? Or have a small garden or back yard? British homes, particularly in cities, have a real space problem.

Leeway

Recycling is sensible. It can be exploited commercially. It's much better for the planet. And the waste sector increasingly supplies jobs, as well as promoting technology to use resources more efficiently.

However it's not clear if all UK authorities will be forced to adopt the measure. There is some (controversial) leeway built into the waste directive, though if a council steers clear they have to justify it.

Witness, as the Telegraph quotes Defra, this statement: "It is up to local authorities to decide what works best in their local area within the law."

What will yours do? And are you happy to forgo garden space to make way for extra recycling bins?