Ask for Evidence on recycling claims

Lots of people have been asking for evidence behind claims about rubbish and recycling. Get involved in our rubbish week.

What happens to our waste and recycling once it’s been collected? Are ‘bags for life’ better for the environment? Is it true that single people waste more food? There are a lot of claims about rubbish and recycling but which are based on evidence?

The way to help make sense of these stories and to encourage an evidence-based approach is to Ask for Evidence. The Ask for Evidence campaign says that if politicians, commentators and organisations want us to vote for them, believe them or buy their products, then we should ask them for evidence – as consumers, voters and citizens.

People have been asking local authorities, waste disposal companies and experts for the evidence behind claims for recycling polices and food waste numbers, claims about wheelie bin ‘hygiene devices’ and the money that could be saved from recycling.

We gathered these stories together over the course of one week. We will also ran a Q&A with some waste policy experts.

  • Prateek Buch, director of public policy, Sense About Science explains why we should all Ask for Evidence.
  • Lydia Le Page, PhD student, asked for evidence on recycling from 10 local councils.
  • Nigel Tyrell, Head of Environment for the London Borough of Lewisham, gives his views on recycling priorities.
  • Michael Ayers asked for evidence about a claim that local authorities could raise £1 billion by selling off rubbish.
  • Lydia Le Page asked Boris Johnson for evidence behind his claim that using biodiesel made from London's used cooking oil in London buses could save 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
  • Waste experts have answered your questions.
  • Sheena Cowell asked for evidence behind claims about wheelie bins and flies.
  • Liam Reynolds wanted to know if Greenpeace had any evidence to support a scheme encouraging people to refurbish their mobile phones.
  • Christina Georgallou read claims about food waste and decided to ask for evidence.
  • Cynthia Hu asked for evidence behind claims that fortnightly bin collections were a health hazard.

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