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Changes to Colchester Borough Council's rubbish and recycling collection introduced a year ago have been a huge success, with figures showing a sharp drop in the amount of household rubbish being disposed of and residents now recycling more than half of all waste collected in the borough.
In the first year of operation, figures show that 53% of the borough's rubbish has been recycled and 31% less residual waste was generated.
During the period June 2017 to May 2018, 23,038 tonnes of residual waste was collected – more than 10,000 tonnes less than the 33,238 tonnes collected for the same period the previous year.
The amount of garden waste collected for recycling has also increased by almost 1,000 tonnes, with 10,156 tonnes of garden waste being collected between June 2017 and May 2018, compared to 9,236 tonnes for the same period the previous year.
In June 2017, the Council made changes to waste collections across the borough in order to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount of rubbish being disposed of. One year on, the figures show that the fortnightly black bin/bag collection arrangements have reduced the amount of general rubbish each household puts out and has encouraged residents to recycle more.
The new collection service, which was introduced on 20 June 2017, limited the Borough's 80,000 households to three black bags a fortnight or one black wheelie bin for non-recyclable rubbish, with collections switching from a weekly to a two-weekly cycle. Recycling collections remained fortnightly and food waste collections weekly.
Going forward, more household rubbish looks set to be recycled in Colchester, after cabinet members recently agreed to extend the collection of plastic recycling to residents living in flats.
Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “Since the introduction of the new system in June 2017, we have seen a significant increase in our recycling rates.
“It has been encouraging to see how much of a positive difference residents’ efforts and the hard work of council staff have made during the course of the last year. The results speak for themselves – showing a major decrease in the amount of material now going to landfill.
“There is still more we can do to reduce our ecological impact and live more sustainably, but this has been an excellent start.”