Half of waste must be recycled by 2020.
That is the message from Chichester District Council as it embarks on a campaign to educate and encourage residents to recycle more.
Councils across the country may face heavy fines if they do not meet the 50 per cent recycling targets set by the European Union.
Cabinet member for the environment Roger Barrow said: “By 2020 we need to be recycling at least 50 per cent of all waste. If we do not achieve this we may be faced with heavy fines from the European Union, which will affect the council’s finances and council tax.
“While we have made good progress in recent years, we still have some way to go, including reducing the amount of household waste that ends up in landfill.”
The district currently recycles around 40 per cent of its waste – ten per cent short of the EU target.
Research indicates 20 per cent of waste currently going to landfill should be recycled, while around ten per cent of recycling should be put in the rubbish bin.
In West Sussex alone, this amounts to £8million of recyclable material going to landfill.
Cabinet members approved the appointment of two recycling project officers last week.
They will help develop initiatives and push the message to residents.
A communications budget of £50,000 was also agreed.
An introductory offer on green bins, for garden waste, will be introduced, with three months’ free subscription to the council’s collection service.
A fifth of residents are currently signed up – but other authorities have attracted up to 40 per cent.
Mr Barrow said: “Green garden waste is one of the best ways we can increase our recycling rate and is a very good way of keeping your garden free of unwanted grass and hedge cuttings.”
Among the initiatives already planned is the use of bin stickers, advising residents what can and cannot be recylced.
Cabinet members welcomed the proposal.
Councillor Susan Taylor said: “I certainly welcome education and the proposed bin stickers. A lot of people are committed to recycling but they don’t quite know what to put in the bin.”
For more information, visit www.recycleforwestsussex.org