District’s top for recycling

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THAME has helped South Oxfordshire District Council become the top recycling authority in England.

According to research by letsrecycle.com, the council recycled or composted 70.56 per cent of its waste in 2010/11 – five per cent higher than the second best performing authority Rochford District Council.

This is the first time an authority has recorded an annual rate of more than 70 per cent since letsrecycle.com started its annual survey at least five years ago, which is based on figures supplied by councils.

The department for environment, food and rural affairs is due to publish its official league table of how councils are performing later this year.

South Oxfordshire’s recycling rate has soared since it introduced a new waste collection service, provided by waste contractors Biffa, in June 2009. The service features a weekly collection of food waste and fortnightly collections of rubbish and recycling on alternate weeks.

Last November the council won the Best Improved Recycling Rate at the LARAC awards for increasing its recycling rate from 44 per cent to 64 per cent between April 2009 and 2010 – the first ten months of the new collection service.

Councillor David Dodds, cabinet member for waste, said: “We have been so pleased with the success of our waste collection service and the consistently high recycling rates the district has achieved, and to be named the top recycling council in the country is the icing on the cake.

“I look forward to the government figures coming out later this year and hope we are also top of that table, no doubt our colleagues at the Vale will be celebrating next year when our joint contract may place first and second.”

Caelia Quinault from letsrecycle.com said: “Achieving a recycling and composting rate of over 70 per cent is a great achievement for South Oxfordshire and sets an example for other authorities across England.”