A NATIONWIDE shake up of recycling could see Bradford households asked to sort their recycling into as many as four bins.

It could also see food waste collected in the District for the first time.

An announcement on "Consistent Collections" - a new standard for recycling collections, is expected to be made by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs later this year.

First proposed last year, the changes would aim to “transition to a more circular economy, incentivising people to recycle more, encouraging businesses to create sustainable packaging, making household recycling easier and stopping the export of polluting plastic waste to developing countries”

It could see the current mixed recycling bins given to each household in areas like Bradford replaced with separate bins for plastic, paper, glass and food waste.

Residents would have to sort their recycling into these bins - rather than the current system where recycling is sorted after it is collected from households in a single bin.

The planned shake up in collections would begin alongside a number of other Government measures to reduce waste, including a plastic packaging tax that will be implemented in April and a deposit return scheme that will see people given rewards for returning drinks bottles and cans.

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A new report by Bradford Council estimates that locally changes to recycling collections would cost around £4.5m.

At a meeting of the Council's Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee this week, members were told it was not yet clear whether the Government would be funding these changes.

A report to members said: "Consistent Collections will directly affect the service we provide by potentially dictating allowance of multi-stream kerbside collections with three to four receptacles expected.

"Additional fleet, staff, storage and contracts will be needed with our initial estimates showing £4.5m needed to facilitate if we have to follow this route.

"Segregated food waste collection (if mandated) will be the largest and costliest change to the service due to the Environmental Regulations involved."

Richard Galthen, Principal Officer for Waste Services, told members: "We could end up with a caddy for food waste, one for glass, one for card and paper. We don't know how the changes will go until DEFRA make the announcement.

"A lot of this is out of the Council's hands."

Members heard that the changes could lead to more bins on the kerbside, and would require changes to the Council's bin collection fleet and staffing patterns.