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Districts rated country's best at recycling
RESIDENTS in two Oxfordshire districts have been rated first and second in the country for recycling rates.
Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils – which run a joint waste collection service – topped the latest survey by letsrecycle.com.
The Vale scored a 68.8 per cent waste recycling rate for the year so far, followed by South Oxfordshire at 68.3 per cent.
The councils have run a combined waste collection service for two years through contractor Biffa. The joint contract saves council taxpayers a total of about £1.5m a year.
Meanwhile, West Oxfordshire was the year’s biggest climber, rising 146 places to come fifth with a rate of 63.1 per cent. Neither Oxford or Cherwell made the top 10.
The final annual results will be announced by the Government in November.
David Dodds, cabinet member for waste at South Oxfordshire and chairman of the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership, said: “This means we are sending less waste to landfill, meaning we avoid excess landfill taxes. All of this has been achieved with a money-saving shared waste service.”
Wantage Segsbury district council member Jenny Hannaby, who oversaw the start of the new system in October 2010 as Liberal Democrat cabinet member for waste, said: “We have to thank the community for getting behind this new contract.
“It’s a good solution. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for the taxpayer.”
Recycling Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach said: “It is tremendous the rate that they have achieved as they are getting very near to that magical 70 per cent.
“I think we should admire and applaud Vale of White Horse for getting this, but what it also points out is that there is a huge variation in the rate of recycling.”
The Vale and South district councils began offering a battery recycling service as part of household waste collections this month.
Residents leave batteries in a small clear plastic bag on top of their green bin in recycling week.
Last night Reg Waite, cabinet member for waste at the Vale, said: “We aren’t resting on our laurels. We want to continue pushing those numbers up, which is why we are bringing in new initiatives such as the battery recycling.”