York’s recycling system is bad for residents, fills streets with rubbish, and is highly inefficient.

So says one councillor, who is calling for a complete change in the way waste is dealt with.


Cllr Mark Warters (Independent, Osbaldwick) wants to replace the current system of boxes with a single wheelie bin for recycling – which is “an ineffective farce”.

As things stand residents sort recyclables into three boxes – glass; plastic and cans; and paper – before putting them out for twice-monthly collections.

Rubbish in the streets

York recycling boxes. Photograph: YorkMix
In a letter to City of York Council executive member for the environment, he writes:

  • The notable example I have always used has been neighbouring East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

    There mixed recycling – plastics, paper, cardboard and glass are all put in the same receptacle by residents – a blue wheelie bin.

He said this was quicker and easier for residents – “quicker as rubbish does not have to be sorted, and easier because a number of boxes don’t have to be stored and carted about every fortnight – a big consideration for elderly residents but quicker and easier for the council collection teams”.


Instead Cllr Warters says residents have to sort recyclables “into a number of silly little boxes that have to be lifted out on bin day, boxes that frequently see lids and rubbish blowing through the streets in a windy bin day and when emptied are left strewn about the streets, with the empty boxes frequently blowing all over including being a hazard on the public highway”.

He points out that the East Riding council is top in the recycling league table for 2016-17 published by Let’s Recycle.

City of York Council, by contrast, comes in at 191st, with a recycling rate of 42.5%. See the full table below.

YorkMix has reached out to Cllr Andrew Waller for a comment, and will update this story if we receive one.

RankAuthority% of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting
1East Riding of Yorkshire Council65.40%
2Rochford District Council63.90%
3South Oxfordshire District Council63.80%
4West Oxfordshire District Council63.40%
5Vale of White Horse District Council62.50%
6Surrey Heath Borough Council62.30%
7Three Rivers District Council61.90%
8South Northamptonshire District Council61.40%
9Trafford MBC61.30%
10Stratford-on-Avon District Council61.30%
11Derbyshire Dales District Council59.80%
12Guildford Borough Council59.70%
13Cotswold District Council59.60%
14Woking Borough Council59.40%
15Dorset Waste Partnership59.40%
16Rutland County Council59.30%
17Stockport MBC59.00%
18North Hertfordshire District Council58.90%
19Mole Valley District Council58.20%
20Cheshire West and Chester58.00%
21Maldon District Council58.00%
22Epping Forest Borough Council57.70%
23Oxfordshire County Council57.70%
24Tandridge District Council57.70%
25Surrey County Council57.70%
26St Albans City and District Council57.50%
27Staffordshire Moorlands District Council57.40%
28Suffolk Coastal District Council57.40%
29Cherwell District Council56.50%
30North Somerset Council56.30%
31Teignbridge District Council55.70%
32Devon County Council55.70%
33Buckinghamshire County Council55.40%
34Cheshire East55.20%
35Ashford Borough Council55.00%
36Reigate and Banstead Borough Council55.00%
37Elmbridge Borough Council55.00%
38Shropshire54.80%
39Warwick District Council54.70%
40South Hams District Council54.70%
41Warwickshire County Council54.40%
42Warrington Borough Council54.30%
43Bath and North East Somerset Council54.10%
44Cambridgeshire County Council53.80%
45West Devon Borough Council53.80%
46Harborough District Council53.60%
47Mid Devon District Council53.40%
48Tewkesbury Borough Council53.30%
49Welwyn Hatfield Council53.00%
50Essex County Council52.90%
51Tameside MBC52.80%
52Bury MBC52.70%
53Bexley LB52.70%
54Somerset County Council52.70%
55East Cambridgeshire District Council52.40%
56Lichfield District Council52.30%
57Hertfordshire County Council52.20%
58Forest of Dean District Council52.20%
59Gloucestershire County Council52.00%
60Stafford Borough Council51.90%
61South Staffordshire Council51.90%
62Wealden District Council51.90%
63Hambleton District Council51.80%
64Daventry District Council51.80%
65West Berkshire District Council51.80%
66Uttlesford District Council51.50%
67Wycombe District Council b51.30%
68South Bucks District Council51.30%
69Waverley Borough Council51.30%
70East Hertfordshire District Council51.20%
71Dacorum Borough Council51.10%
72Broadland District Council50.90%
73Huntingdonshire District Council50.80%
74Ealing LB50.70%
75Milton Keynes Council50.60%
76Fylde Borough Council50.50%
77West Somerset District Council50.50%
78Rushcliffe Borough Council50.40%
79Aylesbury Vale District Council50.30%
80Northamptonshire County Council50.20%
81Rugby Borough Council50.10%
82Suffolk County Council50.10%
83Maidstone Borough Council49.90%
84Kettering Borough Council49.80%
85Calderdale MBC49.70%
86Leicestershire County Council49.70%
87Braintree District Council49.70%
88Kingston-upon-Hull City Council49.50%
89Basildon District Council49.50%
90Poole Borough Council49.50%
91Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council49.40%
92East Staffordshire Borough Council49.30%
93Staffordshire County Council49.20%
94South Gloucestershire Council49.20%
95Tunbridge Wells Borough Council49.10%
96Oxford City Council49.00%
97West Lindsey District Council48.90%
98Castle Point Borough Council48.90%
99Bournemouth Borough Council48.80%
100Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council48.60%
101Barnsley MBC48.50%
102Charnwood Borough Council48.40%
103Derbyshire County Council48.30%
104Oadby and Wigston Borough Council48.30%
105Rother District Council48.30%
106Taunton Deane Borough Council48.30%
107South Derbyshire District Council48.20%
108High Peak Borough Council48.10%
109Blaby District Council47.90%
110North Lincolnshire Council47.80%
111Melton Borough Council47.70%
112Wakefield City MDC47.50%
113South Ribble Borough Council47.40%
114Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council47.40%
115Cheltenham Borough Council47.30%
116Rochdale MBC47.20%
117Chorley Borough Council47.20%
118West Lancashire Borough Council47.10%
119Doncaster MBC47.00%
120Chelmsford Borough Council47.00%
121Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames47.00%
122Bromley LB46.90%
123Epsom and Ewell Borough Council46.80%
124Sedgemoor District Council46.80%
125Greater Manchester WDA (MBC)46.70%
126North Yorkshire County Council46.70%
127North West Leicestershire District Council46.70%
128Lincolnshire County Council46.70%
129Norfolk County Council46.70%
130Isle of Wight Council46.50%
131Ryedale District Council46.40%
132North East Derbyshire District Council46.30%
133Fenland District Council46.30%
134Kent County Council46.30%
135East Northamptonshire Council46.20%
136North Warwickshire Borough Council46.20%
137Central Bedfordshire46.20%
138South Somerset District Council46.20%
139North Kesteven District Council46.10%
140Cambridge City and South Cambs Councils c46.10%
141East Devon District Council46.10%
142Chesterfield Borough Council46.00%
143Southend-on-Sea Borough Council46.00%
144Spelthorne Borough Council46.00%
145Telford and Wrekin Council45.80%
146Tamworth Borough Council45.80%
147Colchester Borough Council45.80%
148Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council45.70%
149Lancashire County Council45.60%
150Stroud District Council45.50%
151East Lindsey District Council45.40%
152Cannock Chase Council45.40%
153Brentwood Borough Council45.20%
154Salford City Council MBC44.90%
155Wyre Borough Council44.90%
156South Norfolk Council44.90%
157Bromsgrove District Council44.70%
158Dover District Council44.70%
159Cumbria County Council44.50%
160Horsham District Council44.50%
161North Devon District Council44.50%
162Bolton MBC44.40%
163Canterbury City Council44.40%
164West Sussex County Council44.30%
165Nottinghamshire County Council44.20%
166Wychavon District Council44.20%
167Runnymede Borough Council44.10%
168Harlow District Council43.90%
169Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council43.80%
170Mid Suffolk District Council43.80%
171Wigan MBC43.70%
172Halton Borough Council43.60%
173East Sussex County Council43.60%
174Hertsmere Borough Council43.40%
175Hillingdon LB43.40%
176Bristol City Council43.40%
177Mendip District Council43.40%
178St Edmundsbury Borough Council43.30%
179South Kesteven District Council43.20%
180Wiltshire43.10%
181Eden District Council42.90%
182Watford Borough Council42.90%
183Medway Borough Council42.80%
184Erewash Borough Council42.70%
185Wellingborough Borough Council42.70%
186Worcestershire County Council42.70%
187Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council42.60%
188Selby District Council42.60%
189Craven District Council42.60%
190Corby Borough Council42.60%
191York City Council42.50%
192Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council42.50%
193Shepway District Council42.50%
194South Lakeland District Council42.40%
195Solihull MBC42.40%
196Waveney District Council42.40%
197Richmond upon Thames LB42.40%
198Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council MBC42.30%
199Torridge District Council42.20%
200Rotherham MBC42.10%
201Bolsover District Council42.10%
202Wolverhampton MBC42.00%
203Peterborough City Council41.90%
204North Norfolk District Council41.90%
205Hampshire County Council41.60%
206Swale Borough Council41.60%
207Northampton Borough Council41.50%
208Torbay Council41.50%
209Richmondshire District Council41.30%
210Walsall MBC41.30%
211Herefordshire Council41.20%
212Merseyside WDA (MBC)41.10%
213Broxbourne Borough Council41.10%
214Chichester District Council41.10%
215Carlisle City Council41.00%
216Ashfield District Council41.00%
217Sandwell MBC41.00%
218Leicester City Council40.70%
219Bedford40.70%
220Eastleigh Borough Council40.70%
221Breckland Council40.30%
222Bracknell Forest Borough Council40.10%
223Ipswich Borough Council40.00%
224Scarborough Borough Council39.90%
225Broxtowe Borough Council39.90%
226Stevenage Borough Council39.80%
227Oldham MBC39.70%
228Harrow LB39.70%
229Gloucester City Council39.70%
230Mid Sussex District Council39.60%
231County Durham39.50%
232West London Waste Authority39.10%
233Lancaster City Council38.90%
234St Helens MBC38.90%
235Harrogate Borough Council38.90%
236Wokingham Council38.90%
237Arun District Council38.90%
238Croydon LB38.60%
239Swindon Borough Council38.40%
240Norwich City Council38.30%
241Hart District Council38.30%
242Sevenoaks District Council38.30%
243Allerdale Borough Council37.90%
244Leeds City Council MBC37.90%
245Sefton MBC37.80%
246Northumberland37.70%
247Malvern Hills District Council37.70%
248Boston Borough Council37.60%
249Forest Heath District Council37.50%
250Darlington Borough Council37.40%
251Barnet LB37.40%
252Dudley MBC37.30%
253Havering LB37.30%
254Enfield LB37.20%
255Thurrock Council37.10%
256Eastbourne Borough Council37.10%
257Ribble Valley Borough Council37.00%
258Bradford City MDC (MBC)37.00%
259Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council36.70%
260Gedling Borough Council36.70%
261Worcester City Council36.70%
262Sutton LB36.50%
263Brent LB36.40%
264Lincoln City Council36.20%
265Manchester City Council MBC36.00%
266Wirral MBC35.90%
267Haringey LB35.70%
268Merton LB35.70%
269Burnley Borough Council35.50%
270Derby City Council35.30%
271Worthing Borough Council35.30%
272North Tyneside Council35.20%
273Greenwich LB34.90%
274Stoke-on-Trent City Council34.80%
275South Tyneside MBC34.70%
276Mansfield District Council34.60%
277Cornwall34.60%
278Rossendale Borough Council34.50%
279Gravesham Borough Council34.50%
280Waltham Forest LB34.40%
281Gateshead MBC34.20%
282Winchester City Council34.20%
283Pendle Borough Council34.10%
284Southwark LB34.00%
285Luton Borough Council33.80%
286East Hampshire District Council33.80%
287Thanet District Council33.80%
288Middlesbrough Borough Council33.70%
289Blackpool Borough Council33.50%
290Great Yarmouth Borough Council33.30%
291Fareham Borough Council33.20%
292Hartlepool Borough Council33.10%
293Test Valley Borough Council33.00%
294Hyndburn Borough Council32.90%
295Knowsley MBC32.80%
296Wyre Forest District Council32.80%
297Adur District Council32.70%
298Copeland Borough Council32.50%
299Amber Valley Borough Council32.20%
300North London Waste Authority32.20%
301Reading Borough Council32.10%
302Plymouth City Council32.00%
303Newark and Sherwood District Council31.90%
304Islington LB31.60%
305Exeter City Council31.60%
306Preston City Council31.40%
307Redditch Borough Council31.00%
308New Forest District Council31.00%
309Hastings Borough Council30.30%
310Kirklees MBC30.10%
311Hounslow LB30.10%
312Coventry City Council29.90%
313Nottingham City Council29.80%
314Sheffield City Council29.60%
315Havant Borough Council29.50%
316Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council29.30%
317North East Lincolnshire Council28.90%
318Lambeth LB28.80%
319City of London28.50%
320South Holland District Council28.30%
321Southampton City Council28.20%
322Liverpool City Council28.10%
323Tower Hamlets LB27.60%
324Crawley Borough Council27.40%
325Hackney LB27.00%
326Brighton and Hove Council27.00%
327Tendring District Council26.80%
328Redbridge LB26.70%
329Camden LB26.60%
330Rushmoor Borough Council26.60%
331Sunderland City Council26.50%
332Slough Borough Council26.30%
333Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council26.30%
334Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council25.80%
335East London Waste Authority25.80%
336Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea25.70%
337Barking and Dagenham LB25.30%
338Dartford Borough Council25.20%
339Lewes District Council25.10%
340Portsmouth City Council24.70%
341Birmingham City Council24.40%
342Western Riverside Waste Authority23.70%
343Hammersmith and Fulham LB23.20%
344Gosport Borough Council22.00%
345Wandsworth LB21.90%
346Bassetlaw District Council21.10%
347Council of the Isles of Scilly19.50%
348Lewisham LB17.70%
349Westminster City Council17.40%
350Newham LB14.10%