Champ in the green corner

ENVIRONMENTALLY-friendly Huntingdonshire has overtaken South Cambridgeshire to become the best district in Eastern England for recycling, with both re-using more than 50 per cent of what households throw away. Recycling rates in Huntingdonshire have been

ENVIRONMENTALLY-friendly Huntingdonshire has overtaken South Cambridgeshire to become the best district in Eastern England for recycling, with both re-using more than 50 per cent of what households throw away.

Recycling rates in Huntingdonshire have been as high as 60 per cent of domestic waste this year, and HDC hopes to achieve an average of 55 per cent in the current year, said the council's head of operations, Robert Ward.

And Cambridgeshire residents lead the country when it comes to recycling and reducing the tonnes of household rubbish ending in landfill.

The latest Government figures say CCC has the highest recycling and composting rate of any shire county or unitary authority. More than 48 per cent of rubbish was recycled in the 2006/07 financial year.


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It is the fourth year running that Cambridgeshire has led the country when it comes to recycling and composting waste.

The county is also the best in the UK for the lowest amount of rubbish per head thrown in the bin and is the highest authority of its kind in the country for recycling green waste - such as food and green garden waste. Peterborough City Council comes a close second for recycling green waste.

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This means that not only do the county's residents compost and recycle more but Cambridgeshire is also reducing the amount of rubbish each household throws away.

For authorities that collect rubbish, Huntingdonshire District Council is rated fourth in the UK for recycling and composting and South Cambridgeshire District Council sixth, with 51.7 and 51 per cent of their rubbish respectively.

South Cambridgeshire is the top council of its type in the UK for recycling green waste, with 32.7 per cent.

It costs councils millions of pounds each year to throw rubbish into landfill where it rots and produces gases that harm the environment and add to climate change.

But recycling rates could reach 65 or 70 per cent when new facilities come on stream, the county council believes.

On top of that, other material recovered from waste bins will be treated to produce a form of compost, leaving virtually nothing to be landfilled, CCC's minerals and waste planning manager David Atkinson told The Hunts Post. What does go into the ground will be inert and will not generate methane.

A new facility expected to open in late 2009 or early 2010 at Waterbeach will see the whole county's non-recycled waste sorted to recover further recyclable material before treatment.

The new plant is being built under a £35million private finance initiative deal with the county and district councils.

However, domestic waste is only 10 per cent of the waste arising in Cambridgeshire. More than half will come from construction and demolition associated with the "growth agenda" - thousands of new homes and associated infrastructure to be provided in the county over the next 20 years and more.

* Huntingdonshire is one of the few districts in the county that can recycle all types of wrapping, so there is no longer any need to separate paper-based from plastic-based, HDC says.

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