Defra report is encouraging reading for recycling


Alex Blackburne examines a recent Government report to see which of England’s local authorities are performing best in their recycling habits.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released a report last week, detailing the recycling levels of Local Authorities across England. It stated that households in the country recycled, on average, 41.2% of waste between April 2010 and March 2011 – up 1.5% from the year before.

Rochford District Council in Essex topped the list recycling 66% of waste during the period – an improvement of 5% from last year.

Councillor Mike Steptoe said, “We’ve always known that residents in the Rochford District go the extra mile and work hard to ensure that they recycle as many materials as possible.

I’d like to thank the Recycling Team at the Council who work hard to ensure the scheme works smoothly … But my biggest thanks and most praise must go to all the residents in the District who do so much every week to ensure they recycle as much as possible.”

Other local authorities that produced particularly impressive results were South Oxfordshire (65%), Surrey Heath (65%) and Bournemouth (64%).

Meanwhile, Ashford Borough Council in Kent was bottom of the list for the second year in a row, recycling just 14% of its waste. This is in spite of the fact that the council’s logo, rather ironically, is written in green typeface and includes a leaf and their website promotes a ‘Be SmartGo Green’ smartphone app.

Tewkesbury Borough Council was England’s biggest improvers, increasing their recycling rates by a huge 22%, from 32% in April 2010 to 54% in March 2011. Conversely, Newcastle City Council had the biggest decrease, with recycling rates going down by 8% to 33%.

Enfield Council, in which households recycle 32% of waste, told the Press Association about some of the strange things they had found in recycling bins around the constituency – some of which are rather comical, but ultimately costs them money to dispose of properly.