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Green Campaigners call for best practice doorstep recycling

news release

News Release

For immediate release: 2nd June 2004

Photo Opportunity

Between 11am and 2pm Saturday June 5th in St Ann’s Square, Manchester. Manchester Friends of the Earth volunteers will be collecting signatures to send a “message in a bottle” inside hundreds of recyclable items to the City Council, to call for best practice doorstep recycling services.

Local Manchester Friends of the Earth [4] campaigners will take to the high street on Saturday June 5th to encourage shoppers to send their message in a bottle to Manchester City Council calling on it to introduce regular and convenient doorstep collection recycling schemes to all homes in the area.

The UK currently languishes near the very bottom of the European recycling league table [1] – recycling just 12 per cent of the waste produced. Figures published in February 2004 [5] showed six out of ten Manchester households still did not receive any doorstep collection of recyclable materials. Research has shown that doorstep collection of materials is the most effective way to increase a local authority’s recycling rates [2].

Manchester Friends of the Earth is urging Manchester 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 increased effort to reach out to ‘difficult’ properties such as high-rise and rural dwellings.

Manchester Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Colette Humphrey said:

“Although Manchester City Council is starting to extend its doorstep recycling service, there is still a long way to go to improve its recycling record. If we are going to tackle the huge mountain of waste that we produce we need to start to use products and materials in the most environmentally friendly way possible, and that means recycling and composting much more of our rubbish. Neighbouring Salford Council already offers a collection of 6 different materials to every household in the borough. Our council needs to follow Salford’s example and give us a recycling record that we can all be proud of.”


Notes to Editors

[1] Recycling rates from 2000:

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

*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] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at

[5] Friends of the Earth Survey of Councils Nov 2003-Feb 2004 / BVPI figures

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