Attachment WhatDoTheyKnow by jolinmilioncherie


									Our Ref:       FWM/SL/GP/ FOI4009
Date:          27th April 2010

Via Email:

Dear Mr Harrow

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the Authority under
the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You have requested information on recycling activities carried out by Birmingham City
Council including and in particular, the way in which the facts and figures are compiled,
along with the sources used.

There are sources that quote different figures in various places, and it is very difficult to
determine both the percentage of people who recycle and what constitutes recycling.

The recycling rates for Birmingham over the last ten years are:-

      2000/01                  7.43%                 2005/06                 17.03%
      2001/02                  8.37%                 2006/07                 18.39%
      2002/03                 10.74%                 2007/08                 26.61%
      2003/04                 12.93%                 2008/09                 30.59%
      2004/05                 14.95%                 2009/10                 32.00%

Recycling is defined by the action and not by the material. Donating clothes to a charity is
a reuse activity as the waste will be reused in its original form, i.e. as clothing. Recycling is
basically putting the material through a process which reuses it instead of using more
virgin materials to make a product which may be the same as or different from the original
product (e.g. recycling metal from food cans into cars).

The Government sets a series of National Indicators which are used to measure Local
Authority performance across a range of functions which are required to be adopted by
Local Authorities within England. National Indicator (NI) 192 reports the recycling rate for
household waste and specifies the method of calculation, the inclusions and exclusions.

The Government has also established a National Waste Strategy 2007 in which it sets
national recycling targets which are expected to be reflected within Local Authority waste

Environment and Culture
PO Box 2122                                                Telephone: 0121 303 1294
Alpha Tower                                                      Fax: 0121 303 4943
Suffolk Street, Queensway
B1 1TZ
strategies. Birmingham City Council adopted a revised Municipal Waste Strategy 2006 to
2026 in November 2006.

The Council’s strategy ( sets a series of targets
which have been broken down further into annual targets to increase recycling within
Birmingham. The “working target” for 2009/10 (April to March) was set by the Cabinet
Member responsible for this activity at 32% and we have just achieved that target.

NI 192 measures household waste which is actually more than just waste coming from the
household through our collection services but includes street cleansing wastes, wastes
taken to the Household Recycling Centres and wastes generated by hostels, homes,
hospitals, educational establishments and others.

Municipal waste is household waste plus waste from commercial and industrial concerns
who ask us to provide a service to them (we are obligated by law to provide these services
where requested, at a reasonable price for businesses within our administrative area
whereas most household waste has to be collected without further charge as it is financed
through Government funding or the Council Tax).

In general terms the recycling rate is calculated by dividing the waste that is reused,
recycled or composted by the total collected whilst discounting the waste coming from
businesses and certain other wastes which the Government have identified.

We provide separate fortnightly doorstep collections for paper and card, green garden
waste, co-mingled materials (plastic bottles, food and drinks cans, glass bottles and jars)
to over 98% of all households and collect residual waste (refuse) weekly from every

If you are not satisfied with the response you may ask for an internal review.

To do this, please contact Birmingham City Council’s central FOI Team at this address:

Corporate DP/FOI Team
3rd Floor,
1 Lancaster Circus,
Birmingham        B4 7AB

Tel: 0121 303 4876          email:

If subsequently you are not satisfied with the Council’s decision you may apply to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:

       The Information Commissioner
       Wycliffe House
       Water Lane
       Cheshire       SK9 5AF
Environment and Culture
PO Box 2122                                             Telephone: 0121 303 1294
Alpha Tower                                                   Fax: 0121 303 4943
Suffolk Street, Queensway
B1 1TZ
        Telephone: 01625 545745
        Web Address:

Yours sincerely

Sonya Cerutti
Information Governance Manager
Business Support – Data Protection/Freedom of Information
Performance and Support Services

Re use of Public Sector Information
The information provided is subject to Birmingham City Council copyright, however, it may be re-used for
personal, educational or non-commercial purposes without further reference to the City Council. If the re-use
is for other purposes, such as commercial re-use, you should notify the City Council in writing to seek
approval or agree terms for re-use. Where Birmingham City Council does not hold the copyright, it has
indicated the copyright holder. Permission for re-use should be sought from them directly.

Environment and Culture
PO Box 2122                                                       Telephone: 0121 303 1294
Alpha Tower                                                             Fax: 0121 303 4943
Suffolk Street, Queensway
B1 1TZ

To top