Worst councils for recycling named and shamed
Cities and boroughs across the country failing of waste disposal targets
Ashford Borough Council in Kent has been named as England’s worst performing council when it comes to recycling, but has already pledged to improve its record.
According to end of year statistics from the government WasteDataFlow service, the council only managed to recycle 13.68% of the refuse it collected. Only marginally better was North Warwickshire Borough Council in Midlands, and Southampton City Council in Hampshire.
National refuse and recycling company BusinessWaste.co.uk has expressed its dismay at these poor recycling rates, especially when compared to Surrey Heath Borough Council, England’s leading council for recycling, which manages to recycle three times as much.
“There are many factors at play when we look at these low rates,” said BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Commercial Manager Mark Hall, “but excuses begin to wear thin when targets are missed year after year.”
“The public demand and deserve more responsible councils, yet in most cases they’re consistently failing to deliver.”
The bottom ten council areas in England in 2012, according to WasteDataFlow were (by percentage of refuse recycled):
1 Ashford Borough Council 13.68%
2 North Warwickshire Borough Council 13.86%
3 Southampton City Council 13.91%
4 Forest of Dean District Council 14.25%
5 St Helens MBC 14.28%
6 Council of the Isles of Scilly 14.63%
7 Middlesbrough Borough Council 14.83%
8 East Cambridgeshire District Council 15.22%
9 North East Lincolnshire Council 15.64%
10 Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council 15.82%
BusinessWaste.co.uk concedes that some councils may have issues that prevent higher rates, for example the relatively isolated position of the Isles of Scilly.
“In some cases we’re convinced that councils have slashed back their waste collection budgets, and recycling rates have plummeted as a result,” said Mark.
“Some councils have simply taken their eye off the ball in recent years, and have just let things slide.”
In its defence, Ashford council says it launched an improved recycling service in July, and aims to become one of the country’s top performing areas within two years.
“It’s great to see a council like Ashford acknowledge its problems and make amends,” said BusinessWaste.co.uk “We know of other districts that are facing the same challenges, and they’re not moving nearly as fast.”
The top ten recycling councils in England last year were:
1 Surrey Heath Borough Council 39.22%
2 Vale of White Horse District Council 37.27%
3 South Oxfordshire District Council 36.95%
4 Darlington Borough Council 36.94%
5 Uttlesford District Council 35.47%
6 Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 34.94%
7 Rutland County Council 34.76%
8 City of London 34.38%
9 North Somerset Council 34.24%
10 Swindon Borough Council 33.33%
BusinessWaste.co.uk notes that while the top three are in relatively well-off areas, some of the best performing councils are in traditionally industrial regions such as Darlington and Blackburn.
“It goes to show that background and location are generally not a bar to responsible waste disposal. With a bit of determination, anybody can hit their recycling targets,” Mr Hall said.
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