Oxfordshire named top waste recycler in England

Oxfordshire has been named the best performing county council waste disposal authority in England for the sixth year in a row.

Last year residents recycled or composted a larger proportion of their household waste than the previous year, while the national average for recycling fell, according to new government figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Recycling officers at Oxfordshire County Council point to residents recycling more of their food waste as an important reason for the increase. Nearly 20,000 tonnes of food waste was recycled in 2018-19 – an increase of six per cent on the previous year. The four district councils and the city council in Oxford operate the kerbside collections of household recycling and waste, which Oxfordshire County Council then disposes of.

Overall, 58 per cent of household waste was recycled in Oxfordshire last year, compared to 57 per cent the previous year. The national average was only 44.8 per cent. Individually, the five district and city authorities in Oxfordshire have also achieved excellent results above the national average.

The Oxford Environmental Partnership of the Oxfordshire district, city and county councils has a target to increase recycling to 70 per cent by 2025.

Yvonne Rees, chief executive at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I would like to thank our residents who have done another great job of recycling so the county keeps the top spot in the country. Oxfordshire councils provide really good waste collection and recycling services, but it is only because most people use them properly that we’re able to perform so well.”

“We’re not complacent though. This year more waste collected for recycling than ever before has been rejected due to the wrong waste being put into the wrong kerbside containers such as textiles, nappies and food being put in the mixed recycling bin. We know that around half the items placed in the general waste bin could have been recycled using the services provided locally, and this includes a huge amount of food waste. So please check your local council website, make sure you’re recycling everything you can and look for tips on how to reduce the amount of waste your household produces.”