CITY of York Council wants to increase recycling rates - but will not introduce food waste collections or include more types of plastic in household bin rounds at this time, according to a report.

But senior councillors could agree to replace bin lorries with more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

And residents may be able to use the city’s recycling banks to drop off items that are not currently collected on the doorstep - under proposals due to be discussed at a meeting tomorrow.

The report says plastic recycling is complex because different types of the material cannot be mixed and that it is only cost effective to recycle some varieties. It adds: “A further increase in accepting a wider range of plastic would either require a separate box or, accepting that the plastic would be treated as a mixed product collected in one box.

“This would devalue the product and it would risk becoming a worldwide commodity moving generally to low wage economies whilst costing the council significantly more both in collection cost and lost income from the devalued product.

“The council and private providers currently have recycling bring bank facilities across the city.

“For those controlled by the council there could be a shift to these being more focused on recycling materials that the council does not collect kerbside.”

It says food waste collections would mean extra collection rounds are needed - with specialist vehicles to pick up the rubbish. And that the waste would still be put through the anaerobic digester at Allerton Park - which is already being used to process all organic rubbish.

Earlier this year the council announced that any plastics marked with the 1 PET or 2 HDPE symbol could be put in kerbside recycling boxes.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, executive member for the environment, said: “We announced earlier this year that we would be investing £100,000 into exploring how we can collect waste in a way that minimises the impact on the environment and maximises the opportunity to recycle. I’m happy to say that this report is one step towards achieving this important goal.”

“We recently declared a climate emergency in York, which comes at a time when the focus on improving our environment has never been stronger. This recognises that climate change and sustainability is a priority for us and that we are working towards delivering a greener cleaner city.”

Cllr Kallum Taylor, Labour spokesman for the environment, welcomed moves to reduce the environmental impact of waste collection rounds but said: “Unfortunately, this report does little other than to signal for another report at some point in the future, when residents want the council to provide ways in which they can recycle more now.”

“Much like the recent Lib Dem-led council’s report on its failure to control weed growth across York, this report on waste collection makes positive noises but actually offers little meaningful change.”

The current model that sees residents separate recycling materials rather than putting them all in one bin will also continue - under the recommendations for the council’s executive.

Alice Hildred, owner of zero waste shop The Bishy Weigh, which aims to reduce the amount of packaging people use by selling items loose or with sustainable wrapping, said: “I’m really pleased that lots of people in York are keen to reduce their household waste and recycle responsibly, and I empathise with those who would like recycling in York to be simpler and cover a broader range of materials.

“A positive way forward is doing what we can to reduce, reuse and refill to lower our dependency on recycling.”

The report will be discussed at a council executive meeting on Thursday at West Office at 5.30pm.