South Oxfordshire top of the league for recycling

August 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

South Oxfordshire district council has claimed that last year it recycled or composted 73% of the household waste collected. This announcement comes a year after the introduction of an expanded collection scheme that has led to the inclusion of food waste composting. If confirmed by the UK government, this figure would put the district top of the league for recycling rates in England.

Between June 2009 and early June 2010, South Oxfordshire District Council’s municipal services contractor, Verdant, was able to collect a total of 18,531 tonnes of dry recycling, 6,115 tonnes of food waste, and 7,434 tonnes of garden waste. When added to the collections from the district’s recycling banks, this brought the area’s overall recycling and composting to 32,621 tonnes, compared to only 11,739 tonnes of waste sent to landfill sites in that same period.

This stunning achievement is reported to have saved around £350,000 of taxpayers’ money annually, whilst also generating up to £850,000 in recycling credits. This has been achieved despite an expansion of services provided by the council, demonstrating that expanding recycling services can help councils to cut costs as they look to reduce their expenditure and seek new revenue sources.

Despite the success of the scheme, the scenario could have looked very different. When the recycling service was changed last year, 1,000 homes were left without bins as the collections started. Shockingly, these teething problems were attributed to the fact that many of the individuals hired by contractors to issue the bins were unable to read addresses or use maps.

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