Somerset’s recycling rate is at an all-time high thanks to Recycle More and the county’s green-thinking residents.
The county’s rate has jumped from 52.4% in 2020-21 to just over 56% in 2021-22.
This makes it the highest rate since such figures started being tracked more than 20 years ago. The new ‘Recycle More’ servuce launched in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge earlier this year.
The recycling rate is the proportion of the waste collected at the kerbside or taken to recycling sites that is recycled, including garden waste and food waste.
Somerset’s performance of 56.2% is likely to put it in the top 10% when national figures are shared later in the year.
The increase is believed to be largely down to the new Recycle More collections and the way they have been embraced by residents.
With the roll-out of the service not yet complete, it is hoped the new service will continue to drive up the county’s recycling rate next year.
Councillor Sarah Dyke was reappointed as Chair of the Somerset Waste Board last week. She said: “After a decade of staying more or less the same, we’re all delighted to see this surge in recycling rate.”
“A lot of effort went into bringing in the new service at the most difficult of times, but we are only seeing the benefits because people are using it. Our thanks go to everyone who is going that extra yard to recycle more.”
Recycle More has expanded the range of recycling collected at the kerbside of Somerset’s 260,000-plus households, notably adding plastic pots, tubs and trays to the weekly pick-ups.
The Waste Board heard that initial figures indicate Recycle More has produced a 20% reduction in the rubbish in Somerset’s bins, as well as the increases in recycling.
The final stage of the new service roll-out starts this week when expanded collections are introduced to more than 5,000 communal properties in Sedgemoor and West Somerset.
These are homes with an element of shared or communal collection, for example blocks of flats and homes of multiple occupancy. What service each property gets will depend on the space and access available.
All residents have been written to with details of what Recycle More means for them and any changes to collection days.