Residents in the Vale of White Horse are helping to set the standard in recycling after a fantastic first full year of the district’s new waste and recycling collection service.
The Vale now has one of the best recycling rates in the country, having seen a substantial rise in the amount of rubbish diverted from landfill over the last year, from 36.16 per cent before the new scheme started to an average of 69.85 per cent for the period October 2010 to the end of August 2011.
In October 2010, the Vale launched its new service with waste and recycling contractor Biffa (formerly Verdant), offering increased kerbside recycling, weekly food waste collections and alternate rubbish and recycling collections for more than 51,000 properties throughout the district.
The increase in recycling options has been embraced by residents who have been able to recycle items such as cardboard, mixed plastics and Tetra Paks as part of their normal recycling collection for the first time. Residents have also been taking advantage of new food waste collections which allow them to dispose of all food waste in an environmentally-friendly way on a weekly basis.
Between October 2010 and the end of August 2011, a total of 12,349 tonnes of dry recycling, 5,006 tonnes of food waste, and 5,758 tonnes of garden waste was collected by Biffa.
Total waste going to landfill was just 10,091 tonnes for the year, compared with 25,898 for the previous 12 months.
The new service, which is being run jointly with South Oxfordshire District Council, has also helped to save more than £400,000 per year compared to the previous service in reduced costs and recycling income.
In terms of environmental benefits, new fuel-efficient waste trucks collect both food and fortnightly recycling or rubbish in one go, meaning there has been a substantial reduction in the amount of trips required for collections around the district and therefore a significant reduction in carbon emissions from collection vehicles.
Cllr Reg Waite, cabinet member for commercial services, said: “Everyonein the Vale should feel delighted at what we have achieved with the new service. Residents have really taken to the new collections and have embraced the new and different options for recycling and disposing of waste.
“In a very short space of time, we have seen recycling rates rocket and have saved a substantial amount of money in the process. We are proud that the Vale of White Horse is helping to set the standard in terms of what communities can achieve with their waste and recycling collections.”
Biffa municipal director Roger Edwards, said: “ This is a really outstanding result, and every resident who supports the service must be congratulated for the valuable part they have played. Our experience in neighbouringSouth Oxfordshiregave us a lot of hope for success when Vale launched its new service – and our hopes have been more than realised.”