The Government and local authorities believe that this will be the most effective way of avoiding large EU financial penalties over volumes of landfill waste. Yet, while gentle persuasion has led to the majority
of families becoming
more aware of their environmental obligations, the lamentable example set by some public sector bodies is hardly going to advance the green cause.
Quite the opposite. Why should residents be expected to go the extra mile, and sort waste into different receptacles, when the powers-that-be set such an appalling example and, in Rotherham's case, recycle just one per cent of paper at some offices?
It's not just about setting standards. As large employers, local authorities will, inevitably, generate a significant amount of waste that requires disposal. Yet far too many councils across Yorkshire do not appear to have stringent strategies in place to tackle this issue – while, at the same time, expecting local residents
to adhere to strict rules or face financial sanctions if they do not comply with recycling rules.
Such double standards will only alienate those who believe it is their moral obligation, as responsible citizens, to be eco-friendly – and further entrench those who wash the hands of this issue and simply expect the council to empty their bins every week. As such, it is up to the councils concerned to raise their game – and match their rhetoric with deeds. It's their only option.