HUNTINGDONSHIRE residents came close to being the recycling champions of England last year – and look set to do even better this year. With 48 per cent of waste material sent for recycling, the district was fifth out of almost 400 district and borough cou
HUNTINGDONSHIRE residents came close to being the recycling champions of England last year - and look set to do even better this year.
With 48 per cent of waste material sent for recycling, the district was fifth out of almost 400 district and borough councils in 2005.
But recycling rates, which have soared since recycling started in Huntingdon in 1999 with green boxes, have been consistently above 50 per cent since last summer and could push the ancient county into the top three councils when this year's figures are compared.
It was only in the autumn of last year that HDC was able to collect kitchen waste in green bins, after a new facility for indoor composting was opened in west Huntingdonshire. The full-year effect of that will be felt in the next set of figures.
The average household in the district generates more than one tonne of waste a year. But with HDC receiving nearly £35.50 in recycling credits for each tonne that is not sent to landfill, diligent householders are helping to keep down their Council Tax.
Councillor Paula Longford, executive councillor for operations, said: "This is a tremendous result, a huge tribute to the overwhelming support and enthusiasm our residents have shown for recycling. And it is a demonstration that the major investment in systems, vehicles and equipment in order to provide the comprehensive system that we now have in place was the right thing to do."
During the course of 2005, 67,711 tonnes of waste were collected from 65,000 homes.
Of this, 31,753 tonnes were sent for recycling.
INFORMATION : Huntingdonshire residents were first introduced to recycling in 1999 with a green box scheme enabling them to put out dry recyclable materials. Four years later, green and grey wheeled bins were delivered to 9,000 homes in the district as a trial of alternating weekly collections of household and garden waste, alongside the green box scheme. A third (blue) wheelie bin to replace the smaller green boxes later pushed recycling rates to 40 per cent.
North Kesteven, based in Sleaford, was top recycler in 2005 with 51 per cent, followed by Ruschcliffe in Nottingham (49.9), South Cambridgeshire (49.4), which includes Fen Drayton, Elsworth, Papworth, Caxton and Cambourne, and St Edmundsbury in Suffolk (48.6).