More than half of county’s household waste is recycled, new figures show

Recycling figures show good progress being made in Cambridgeshire

Recycling figures show good progress being made in Cambridgeshire - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire has one of the highest recycling rates in England, figures show.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, 182,965 tonnes of rubbish was recycled or composted in Cambridgeshire, according to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures.

That is 56 per cent of the local authority’s waste.

The Government wants half of the country’s household waste to be recycled by 2020. In 2017-18, England recycled 42 per cent of its rubbish.

Councillor Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said: “The best way to boost recycling rates is to prevent unrecyclable waste from entering the environment in the first place.

“Councils are keen to work with supermarkets and manufacturers so that they can switch to recyclable packaging where possible.”

Landfill was the second most common way of disposing of rubbish in Cambridgeshire.

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About 112,043 tonnes of waste was buried in landfill sites, 34 per cent of the total.

Incinerator plants burned one per cent of the total waste, far lower than the national rate of 42 per cent.

A cross party report, launched in July in the House of Lords, called on the Government to take oversight of the industry and introduce an incineration tax.

Research revealed that incinerators in England polluted more last year than a quarter-of-a-million lorries travelling 75,000 miles.

Shlomo Dowen, of United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), believes most of the waste being incinerated could be recycled.

He said: “We need to stop burning recyclable material, and this means we need to stop building new incinerators.

“Separate collection of food waste should be accompanied by increasing the range of recyclable material collected at the kerbside, and Government needs to introduce an incineration tax to ensure that those sending waste for incineration pay the cost of the pollution they cause.”