THE binning of food waste by residents is the biggest challenge for Craven Council in its fight to improve recycling rates.

There is also an issue with households putting the wrong waste in recycling bins, resulting in large amounts being ‘contaminated’ and ending up in landfill, the council’s policy committee heard.

A campaign encouraging people to start composting was suggested by councillors along with increased education on what could and could not be put into recycling bins.

The council currently recycles 43 per cent of all waste it collects, but has a target of 50 per cent.

Paul Ellis, director of services, said: “Our biggest challenge at the moment is food waste and how we can encourage more people not to throw away their food and to recycle it.”

Cllr David Noland said he would like to see people encouraged to compost at home, with cut-price home composting bins.

Deputy council leader, Cllr Simon Myers, said that in addition to the food waste problem it was a “great shame” that large amounts of recyclable rubbish were going into landfill because of careless recycling.

Council leader, Cllr Richard Foster, said: “We really need the public to help us if we are going to get our recycling rates up above 50 per cent.”