How good is Huntingdonshire at disposing of waste?

Representatives from Alupro and the operations division at Huntingdonshire District Council

Representatives from Alupro and the operations division at Huntingdonshire District Council - Credit: Archant

As part of the Time for Change campaign, we looked at the recycling rates across all UK local authorities and the cost when people get it wrong.

Understanding how Huntingdonshire compares to other authorities will help to highlight where locals are having a positive impact on our environment and the instances where we can improve.

Figures released by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed Huntingdonshire ranked 31st out of the 310 local authorities for household waste recycling rates for the year ending March 2021. 

The recycling rate refers to the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting.

Huntingdonshire's recycling rate was 55.2 per cent, higher than the rolling 12-month average of 43.4 per cent.

However, the national and Huntingdonshire rates had dropped by 1.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively from the previous year.

The DEFRA report explained the drop could be attributed to disruptions caused by Covid-19.

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DEFRA also released national figures highlighting the amount of waste collected by local councils that was rejected at the point of sorting.

The data showed that 647,000 tonnes of waste had been rejected in 2020/21, the highest volume rejected since records began in 2006/07.

Huntingdonshire recorded 1,736 tonnes of rejected waste in 2020/21, a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

The recycling charity Wrap estimated that waste wrongly disposed of waste costs the councils £93 to process, putting the cost of waste rejected in Huntingdonshire last year at £161,448.

The council's waste minimisation support officer Danette O'Hara, said: "We do have issues with contamination, as does every council. We work with crews to try and reject this contamination at the kerbside, informing residents of the reasons when this happens.

"On average, we reject about 1,000 bins a month. We do not capture all of the contamination, but what gets through is reducing."

Danette highlighted that 2022 is looking like a better year for waste contamination reduction with the last three months all coming in under five per cent.

This is more than one per lower than the average for the past four years.