A SHORTAGE of skilled council workers is having a "grim" effect on the environment - with half of waste that should be recycled ending up in landfill sites, new research showed today.
About 53% of potentially recyclable waste that cannot be correctly separated by recycling staff ends up in the bin, says a study by vocational training body City and Guilds.
Local authorities were urged to increase training of waste management staff after the study found one in 10 workers believed lack of skills damaged their career prospects and the success of recycling schemes.
A survey of more than 100 workers for City and Guilds showed a third believed waste cycling would improve if they were better trained. And UK residents were slowing down the recycling process by putting the wrong materials in bins, the report said.
Workers complained residents were not doing enough to help, by not correctly separating materials, rinsing containers or removing lids.
Up to 10% of material collected by council workers could not be recycled because of mistakes by householders, it was estimated.